Replacing Missing Teeth

Health Effects of Missing Teeth

Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain.

Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. The great news? Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.

Tooth Replacement Options

You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.

A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.

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a fixed dental bridge depends on neighboring teeth for support

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.

a removable retainer with a plastic tooth is also known as a flipper


A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.

a sturdy partial denture can be cast in metal and plastic

Metal Partial

A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.

a full denture can be used for the entire lower jaw


The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.

a permanent dental implant can be used to replace missing teeth

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.

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Butura Oral & Dental Implant Surgery

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Before finding Dr. Butura I had worked with another facial surgeon for several procedures (Extractions, Implants, and a Sinus Lift). When I needed another extraction and implant I shopped around and found Dr. Butura's office. Wish I'd found them sooner! The consult was clear and concise. Dr. Butura answered all my questions and put me at ease with detailed explanations of work to be done and what to expect. They went out of their way to accommodate me and I couldn't be happier. Thank you Doc & staff! Outstanding!

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I have been seeing Dr. Butura for several years and have received amazing care for complex issues. I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Butura and his wonderful staff.

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dr. butura is a swell fellow , and the best oral surgeon there is ~! he explained the process for my implants , step by step , and guided me through , with any questions or concerns i had ,

- Willis G

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