Teeth can be missing for many reasons, including dental decay, tooth fracture, gum disease, genetics and accidents. If a missing tooth is not replaced, you may notice tipping of the adjacent or opposing teeth into that space over time. These changes can lead to increased wear of certain teeth, or spaces between the remaining teeth where food can get stuck. If you are looking to replace teeth, here are a few options:

1. Implants
2. Bridges
3. Dentures

Dental Implant

What is an implant?

An implant is considered to be the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. It is a post, usually made of titanium, that is surgically placed into the bone where the tooth is missing. The bone is allowed to heal and fuse with the post for a few months before the top portion that you see above the gums, also known as the crown, is attached.


  • High success rate.
  • Does not need adjacent teeth for support (unlike a bridge). 
  • When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone also shrinks, which can lead to esthetic defects, and reduced bone support for the adjacent teeth. An implant will stimulate and maintain the surrounding bone.
  • Easier to keep the neighbouring teeth clean.
  • It is non-removable.


  • Requires a surgical procedure.
  • May require a bone graft (the addition of bone material) if the existing bone support isn’t enough.
  • Treatment duration will be at least a few months before the final crown is inserted.
  • Costs more than a denture or a bridge.
Dental bridge

What is a bridge?

Like implants, bridges are a non-removable prosthesis. Unlike an implant, which replaces the entire tooth including the root, a bridge only fills in the missing crown (chewing) portion that’s visible above the gums. The portion that looks like the missing tooth is called a pontic. For the most common type of bridge, the pontic is connected to crowns that sit on the supporting teeth on each side of the missing tooth. These supporting teeth must first be modified prior to the bridge being inserted.


  • Can take as little as two appointments, about two weeks apart. 
  • Does not require surgery.
  • It’s non-removable.
  • Costs less than an implant.


  • More difficult to clean under a bridge
  • Costs more than a denture.
  • Supporting teeth need to be modified to support the bridge. The health of these teeth affect the success of the bridge.
  • Does not maintain bone levels.

What is a denture?

A denture is a removable prosthesis that can be taken out anytime. Dentures are a more affordable way of replacing multiple teeth. 


  • More affordable than a bridge or an implant.
  • Can replace many missing teeth at the same time.
  • The gums and bone shrink over time in the locations where teeth are missing, which may lead to the appearance of the face sagging. A denture can fill in these areas, and support your lips and cheek.
  • Does not require surgery.


  • Requires a series of appointments.
  • Although dentures can fill in the appearance of the missing bone, it does not maintain bone levels.
  • Decreased chewing force.
  • It is removable.

Which option is the best for me?

The choice is highly dependent on your individual circumstance and should be discussed with your dentist. There are many factors to be considered, including: 

  • your medical and dental health
  • the way your teeth bite together
  • the number and location of the missing teeth
  • your timeline
  • your financial situation
  • your esthetic preferences

Dentists Near You

If you are missing a tooth, take the first step to book a consultation with our Surrey dentists at Vivant Dental in the  Panorama area.

What are crowns and bridges, and how are they different?

Crowns (also known as caps) are tooth prosthetics that restore natural teeth or dental implants. Reasons for getting a crown on a natural tooth include:

  • restoring a tooth that has a large cavity or large filling
  • protecting a tooth that has a crack
  • restoring a tooth with a large chip
  • improving the esthetics of a tooth.

Bridges are tooth prosthetics that replace missing one or more missing teeth. They are anchored by the stable natural teeth or implants that are adjacent to the missing teeth. 

Did you know…

that the Etruscan civilization were the first to use crowns as a means of restoring damaged teeth? The materials they used were ivory, gold, and bone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are CROWNS AND BRIDGES made of?

Generally speaking, crowns and bridges can be of gold alloy, porcelain bonded to metal, or all ceramic.


Crown and bridge fabrication is generally a two-appointment process. The teeth that will support the restoration will first be shaped to provide enough space for the thickness of the restorative material. Impressions are then taken. If you are opting for a tooth-coloured restoration, such as one with porcelain, the dentist will suggest a shade that blends with your other teeth. You will be fitted with a temporary restoration until the permanent one is ready. Your crown or bridge will be inserted at a second appointment.

Do I need to follow any post-treatment care guidelines?

Yes. After the first appointment, the dental team will instruct you on how to floss around your temporary crowns and bridges. Avoid eating hard or sticky foods with the temporary. You may experience some mild heat and cold sensitivity, and soreness at the gums initially. This is usually manageable over-the-counter pain medications. If there is any discomfort on biting with that tooth, please inform your dentist.