Replacement Options for Missing Teeth

Annual Aging Well Section


As you age, the steps you need to take to maintain your health change as well. By being mindful of these shifts in your health and wellness, you can readily embrace your golden years. Here, we’ve gathered the facts and consulted the experts about a variety of topics that you might encounter as you or your loved ones age, with the hope of helping you stay informed and up-to-date about aging well.


By Anna Hill



Tooth loss and decay is a common problem that many older adults face. Luckily, there are several different options for restoring your smile.


Though the prevalence of tooth loss in older adults has decreased in recent decades, currently, about a quarter of adults over the age of 65 have no remaining teeth. This can occur due to periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, a genetic predisposition, or simply years of normal wear and tear. The loss of teeth significantly increases your risk of malnutrition and can also affect your self-esteem. Fortunately, there are many options for replacing missing teeth. 



A flipper is a temporary tooth replacement that can flip in and out of position. Unlike other options, it isn’t dependent on surrounding teeth, and it doesn’t have metal clasps. A flipper is lightweight and a relatively inexpensive, painless option for tooth replacement; however, it is primarily designed to only be a temporary option until a more permanent one becomes available. 



Dentures are a dental appliance intended to replace both missing teeth and the tissue surrounding them. There are two different options: partial dentures and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth alongside natural teeth that are still remaining. Complete dentures are for those who have lost all of their teeth.



A dental bridge is a false tooth or multiple false teeth that are fused between a set of two teeth to fill in a gap created by missing natural teeth. The false teeth are often made of porcelain to achieve a natural look. Dental bridges can be supported by placing a crown on your remaining natural teeth to secure the false tooth in place, or the bridge can be bound between two dental implants, which is a great option for those missing several teeth in a row. 


Dental Implants

Dental implants are false teeth that are secured directly to the jawbone in place of the missing tooth. They are attached surgically via a screw that replaces the root of the lost tooth, which anchors the new false tooth. As it heals, the implant becomes securely fused to the jawbone. Dental implants are considered one of the most permanent, reliable options for tooth replacement, ideal for those who have lost only one or two teeth. HS


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