Missing teeth

There are many reasons why teeth can fall out or why you might be missing a tooth. It could be the result of an injury or some kind of trauma, or could be due to gum disease, severe tooth decay or genetic reasons.

No matter why you need to replace a missing tooth, missing teeth can alter your appearance and lead you to feeling less confident in your smile. What’s more, missing teeth can cause difficulty biting, chewing and eating, and can also cause issues with speech and the alignment and overall health of your other teeth over time.

If you have a missing tooth, it’s important to visit your dentist to gain advice and to avoid further damage.



Need emergency treatment for missing teeth?

Missing teeth, especially when caused by an accident or impact to the mouth, often require emergency attention from a dentist. Most Bupa Dental Care practices offer emergency appointments and can provide urgent care. Many dentists reserve same-day appointments for emergency cases, so consider calling your local practice early in the day to secure a slot.

If you’re unable to book an emergency appointment when needed, call 111 for help and advice at any time of day or night.

Treatment for replacing missing teeth

If left untreated, missing teeth can cause many problems, ranging from issues with confidence and self-image to damage to the bone structure in which your remaining teeth sit.

Thankfully there are several reliable options for people missing a tooth, many of which provide a long-lasting solution that looks, feels and performs like your original tooth. Your dentist can carry out an assessment into your individual needs and help you decide which treatment for missing teeth is best for you. Not every missing tooth treatment will be right for every person, and you may need to take steps to improve your oral health before undergoing treatment.

The most common treatments for missing teeth include:

Illustration comparing the parts of a tooth with the parts of dental implant treatment, including the crown and implant

Dental implants for missing teeth

A dental implant involves a surgical procedure where an artificial tooth, made from titanium and capped with a crown made from ceramic or porcelain, is placed into the jawbone.

Dental implants, placed by an experienced dentist in a trusted practice, provide the feel and look of natural teeth. If given adequate aftercare and taken care of with a reliable oral health routine, dental implants can last for years or even decades without needing to be replaced or repaired.

Dental implants require surgery to place and typically are more costly than other treatments for missing teeth. However, due to their reliability and simplicity once placed, they are an increasingly popular option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth.

Full arches and whole mouth restorations with dental implants are also available with treatments such as smile in a day, which use full sets of dental implants to restore a smile.

An image showing teeth with a bridge

Dental bridge

A dental bridge is a restorative dentistry treatment for missing teeth, replacing a missing tooth with a false tooth bonded to the natural teeth either side of the gap. The most common dental bridges consist of a pair of crowns - usually made from metal or porcelain - which are bonded to the natural teeth either side of the gap. The false tooth or teeth will sit in the middle, hiding the gap and restoring function.

Dental bridges are a permanent solution for missing teeth, and do not require surgery. They also help to stop your natural teeth from shifting or misaligning, which is a common result of leaving a missing tooth or teeth untreated.

Image showing teeth on the upper jaw with dentures

Partial and complete dentures for missing teeth

Prosthodontics or dentures are commonly used to replace missing teeth. They involve a custom-made replacement tooth or set of teeth being worn when needed, and commonly removed while sleeping.

Dentures can be beneficial for chewing function and aesthetics, and modern dentures can look almost identical to natural teeth. However, dentures are a less durable option to replace missing teeth, and are often considered less comfortable than a dental implant or bridge.

What causes missing teeth?

While baby teeth become loose and fall out by themselves during childhood, healthy adult teeth can stay in place for a lifetime. However, missing teeth can be caused by a number of different factors. These include:

If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, your local Bupa Dental Care dentist can help with several different treatments for replacing missing teeth, as well as oral health advice.

More about missing teeth treatment

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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