If you have a missing tooth, you might not feel like smiling. But you don't have to live with an embarrassing gap between your teeth if you don't want to. Plenty of options exist to replace a missing tooth. That's good to know because a missing tooth doesn't just leave a hole in your smile -- it may also affect how you speak and chew. And if a missing tooth isn't replaced, the teeth around it begin to move. Shifting teeth create new crevices for dental plaque to hide in, which can lead to tooth decay and the need for a tooth filling or gum disease treatment down the road.
Implant dentistry is the best option for replacing a missing tooth. Rather than resting on the gum line like removable dentures or using adjacent teeth as anchors like a dental bridge, dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone where they act as an anchor for replacement teeth. A dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth, allowing you to chew and speak just like you did before.