There are a number of ways to replace a missing tooth. These prosthetic teeth can be as beautiful and functional as the original tooth (or even better).
It is important to note that it is easiest to replace a tooth immediately following an extraction. After a tooth has been extracted, the adjacent teeth may shift towards the empty space to compensate for the missing tooth, shrinking the space available. In addition, the jawbone will remodel once a tooth has been removed, shrinking in dimension. Over time, as there is less space and bone strength to work with, replacing a tooth may require the assistance of a dental specialist to ensure success.
A removable partial denture is designed to replace several (adjacent) missing teeth. In this design, the prosthetic teeth are attached to the natural teeth by several metal clasps, and can be removed and reinserted by the patient, without professional help.
This treatment option often presents one or more disadvantages. The most important one is functionality: a removable partial denture simply does not have the optimal support and stability needed for completely “normal” chewing and biting. This is partly due to the fact that, over time, an area without natural teeth will experience bone resorption which will result in poor stability and fit.