Our Dental Blog

Posts for tag: tooth replacement

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
April 08, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth replacement  

Replacing a lost tooth improves your appearance and your oral health. Dental implants, bridges and dentures, three tooth replacement options offered by your Decatur, IL, dentist, Dr. Carol Cunningham, can help you restore your smile.

Dental Implants

Dental implants provide the newest and longest-lasting way to replace missing teeth. The implant process pairs synthetic titanium posts with dental crowns to create brand new teeth. The titanium posts serve as artificial tooth roots and are placed in your jawbone during minor oral surgery in Decatur.

Titanium implants slowly bond to your jawbone, creating secure, stable new roots in just three to six months. A dental crown, an artificial tooth that looks just like the visible part of your tooth, is added to the top of each implant to complete the restoration process.

Dental implants don't reduce your biting power, help keep your jawbone strong and feel very much like natural teeth. Because the implants become part of your jawbone, they may never need to be replaced.


A bridge may be an option if you've lost one or two teeth. The restoration consists of several artificial teeth connected to dental crowns on either side. The hollow crowns slip over teeth on either side of the gap and anchor the bridge. Removable bridges are available, although most bridges are cemented on to the supporting teeth and become a permanent part of your smile.

Implanted-supported bridges offer an alternative to traditional bridges if you've lost several teeth in a row.


Full or immediate dentures replace all of your upper or lower teeth. The removable restorations consist of synthetic teeth attached to a pink base that looks like gum tissue. Dentures improve your appearance and make it easier to chew and speak clearly.

Implant-supported dentures offer another denture option. Each denture can be supported by as few as four dental implants. The dentures are connected directly to implants or to a metal framework. Benefits of implant-supported dentures include improved biting power and comfort.

Fill the gaps in your smile with dental implants or other restoration options! Call your dentist in Decatur, IL, Dr. Cunningham, at (217) 422-7448 to schedule an appointment.

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
June 18, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth replacement  

Losing a tooth affects not only your smile but your overall dental health too. A dental implant solves both issues: it replaces the whole tooth, including the root, to merge durability with a life-like appearance.

For teenagers with a missing tooth, however, an implant may not be a good idea, at least until they've physically matured. Although their permanent teeth have usually all come in by puberty, the jaws and facial structure continue to develop into early adulthood. An implant placed too early could appear misaligned when the jaw fully matures.

The best approach for teens is a temporary replacement until they're physically ready for an implant. There are two good options: a removable partial denture (RPD) or a fixed bonded bridge.

Common among adults, an RPD is also a viable replacement for a teenager's missing tooth. An RPD consists of a prosthetic (false) tooth set in a nylon or acrylic base that resembles gum tissue. Metal clips formed in the RPD fit over adjacent teeth to hold the appliance in place; this also makes it easy to remove for cleaning or sleep time. We typically recommend an acrylic base for teens because it's easier to adjust if the RPD's fit becomes loose.

To hold it in place, a traditional bridge uses crowns on either side of the replacement tooth to bond over the natural teeth next to the open socket. Because this requires permanently altering the support teeth, we recommend a bonded bridge that doesn't.

This modified bridge uses wing-like strips of dental material on the back of the false tooth that project outward. With the tooth in place, we bond the extending portions of these projections to the back of the adjacent teeth, which secures the false tooth in place.

Of the two options, the bonded bridge is more comfortable, buys the most time and looks the most natural. But it will cost more than an RPD. Bite issues, teeth grinding, overall gum health or your child's level of hygiene conscientiousness could also nix it as a viable option.

Either choice will effectively replace your child's missing tooth until it's time for a permanent restoration. We'll help you weigh all the factors to determine which one is best for your situation.

If you would like more information on restoration options for teens, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.