Missing Tooth

Here’s an “insider tip”: If you have recently lost a tooth because of long-standing problems or an accident, it’s important to obtain a temporary replacement. It’s also important for you to know that not replacing a missing tooth can start a chain reaction of dental problems that can affect your entire mouth. Problems include shifting of the adjacent teeth, collapse of your bite, extrusion (growing out of the socket) of teeth on the opposite arch (teeth in the upper or lower jaw), jaw-joint problems, and an increased likelihood of gum disease around teeth that have tilted or shifted.

  • Temporary (with no involvement of adjacent teeth)
  • Long-term (involves adjacent teeth)
  • Long-term (does not involve adjacent teeth)
  • Temporary (with no involvement of adjacent teeth)

A “flipper” is a plastic partial denture with a tooth bonded to its front edge. On the upper arch, it covers all or part of your palate and is an adequate, temporary solution.
It tends to feel bulky and make speaking difficult, it gets loose, and it may fall out of place. If you have a high smile line (your lip comes up fairly high when you smile), it may not look as natural as you would like. Flippers are widely used by dentists as a temporary replacement for missing teeth.They tend to work more effectively on the upper teeth. Though some people attempt to wear them as if they were permanent repairs, they’re definitely short-term solutions.


Installing a resin-bonded Maryland bridge requires light reduction of the backs of the adjacent teeth. The bridge, which includes a replacement tooth with small “wings” attached, is bonded in place. It’s an aesthetically-pleasing missing-tooth replacement that requires only minimal tooth reduction. But it can’t be used if your bite is off or if you grind heavily on your front teeth.


If you do not want any part of your adjacent teeth reduced to help support a dental bridge, then you only have two options: implants or partial dentures.


A dental implant is a small metal cylinder that’s surgically implanted in the bone of the jaw to replace the root of a missing tooth. A crown can then be attached to the implant with a screw, or the crown may be directly cemented onto an extension that is threaded into the implant.


An implant doesn’t involve grinding or reduction of the adjacent teeth. It looks natural and helps to reduce the bone and ridge loss that often occurs after a tooth has been removed.


An implant requires three to nine months to complete (the implant requires several months to fuse to the bone), it is the most expensive of all options, and it requires surgical placement (a minor surgical procedure).


Toast Of Music City
Dr. Atchley was voted #1 DENTIST IN NASHVILLE 8 years in a row.

From the time I arrived at your office until the time I left your staff and especially you provided unparalleled service.

Dental Bliss


151 Rosa Helm Way
Franklin TN, 37067

(615) 794-8810

Dental Bliss


601 Brandywine Court
Old Hickory TN, 37138

(615) 847-1234