Three Ways to Replace Missing or Extracted Teeth

Losing a tooth can affect self-confidence and leave you wondering how to fix it. To replace a lost tooth, there are a few options. At his Grand Rapids practice, Dr. Zwier works with each patient to find the best treatment option.

Tooth Replacement Options

The three ways you can choose to replace your missing teeth are dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Each option has it’s own advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Zwier will recommend the one that suits you and your lifestyle.


Dentures are a dental appliance that has false teeth attached. Dentures can be made to be full or partial, depending on how many teeth are missing. The denture is made to fit into the mouth to replace the missing tooth or teeth.


Reasons people may choose dentures, include:

  • Cost-effective
  • Can last up to 10 years before replacement
  • Protects your remaining teeth
  • No food restrictions
  • Improves biting and chewing
  • Improves looks and confidence


Reasons people may not choose dentures, include:

  • Can be lost because they are removable
  • Requires extra care such as soaking
  • Can require adhesives
  • If they are lost or you lose more teeth, you’ll need a new set custom made

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are used when natural teeth are remaining on either side of a lost tooth or teeth. They use false teeth, called pontics, and crowns that cover the natural teeth and the pontic to hold it in place permanently.


Reasons people may choose bridges, include:

  • Permanent
  • Helps to keep natural teeth in place and prevent shifting
  • Improves chewing and speaking
  • More evenly distributes bite force, putting less pressure on the remaining teeth.


Reasons people may not choose bridges, include:

  • Harder to clean because there is no space between teeth for flossing
  • Requires natural teeth to be filed down for the crown application
  • Food restrictions

Dental Implants

Dental implants are another permanent way to replace missing teeth. First, a metal implant is placed into the jawbone and left to heal. After that, custom made crowns are placed upon the implant that lies above the gumline called an abutment. The custom crowns are made to look like natural teeth so that no one will notice you had lost a tooth.


Reasons people may choose implants, include:

  • Long-lasting or permanent
  • Crowns can look like natural teeth
  • Can do as many or as few implants as needed
  • May improve oral health
  • Helps with biting, chewing, and speaking


Reasons people may not choose implants, include:

  • Can be costly
  • Requires surgery and a lengthy healing process
  • Crowns may need to be replaced more often than preferred
  • The look and quality of the crowns can vary significantly from provider to provider

Meet With Dr. Zwier

Losing a tooth is not a fun thing to deal with. It can be embarrassing and cause your teeth to shift. If you’re interested in replacing missing teeth, book a consultation with Dr. Peter Zwier and his team today.