Dental Blog

3 Ways to Replace Missing Teeth

3 Ways to Replace Missing Teeth

600 600 Macatawa Smiles

Holland, MI Tooth Replacement DentistThe sooner you replace missing teeth, the better.

Your teeth are supported by their roots, the jawbone, and adjacent teeth. This means that once you lose one tooth, other teeth will loosen over time and tilt toward the open space. This can lead to further tooth loss in the long run.

The good news is that we can prevent this from happening by taking action now.

Here are some of the restorative dental options Dr. Habecker may discuss with you during your next appointment.

1.) Dental Implants

A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root (typically made of titanium) used to anchor a crown. Many of our patients appreciate that dental implants look and function like natural teeth. A tooth implant fuses with your jawbone over time so it won’t slip like dentures. Dental implants can last a lifetime if given proper care.

Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants stimulate jawbone tissue so it doesn’t disintegrate over time. Jawbone deterioration is a serious issue because it affects your oral health and the shape of your face. Dental implants also help hold adjacent teeth in place so they don’t loosen and eventually fall out.

Related: How Dental Implants Stop Further Tooth Loss

To be a candidate for dental implants, you must have healthy gum and jawbone tissue. However, if you don’t have sufficient jawbone tissue, our dentist may recommend a bone graft. While dental implants are more invasive than other tooth replacement options, they’re also more long-lasting.

2.) Dental Bridges

As the name suggests, a dental bridge “bridges” the gap in your smile left by a missing tooth. A dental bridge consists of a prosthetic tooth anchored on both sides by crowns on either natural teeth or implants.

Your dentist may recommend a dental bridge if you don’t want to wait months for a dental implant to fuse to your jawbone. A dental bridge can be made in one appointment if we use CEREC.

3.) Dentures

Whether you’ve lost one or more teeth, you may want to ask about getting full or partial dentures. Dentures are removable false teeth that help you eat and speak normally after major tooth loss.

While dentures slip occasionally when you sneeze or cough, this can be easily corrected by biting down gently and swallowing. If you notice your dentures slipping more often, don’t hesitate to call our office to see about getting your dentures refitted.

While wearing dentures, it’s important you continue taking care of your oral health. We recommend brushing your gums to avoid plaque buildup in empty sockets. Otherwise bleeding gums could make it painful to wear your dentures.

You’ll also need to keep your dentures submerged in water or cleanser any time they’re not in your mouth to avoid cracking and warping.


Our dentist may recommend dental implants, bridges, or dentures to replace missing teeth. To determine if you’re a candidate for any of these procedures, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Habecker.

During your appointment, our dentist will help you review your tooth replacement options. We’ll also examine the inside of your mouth and take X-rays to determine the best way to restore your oral health.

The sooner you schedule an appointment, the more likely we’ll be able to prevent further tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. To learn more, be sure to check out our blog post on why it’s important to replace missing teeth.

Request an Appointment With Dr. Habecker

Dr. Brenton Habecker would be more than happy to help you explore your tooth replacement options. As a dentist in Holland, MI, he’s dedicated to helping his patients improve their oral health and overall wellbeing. To request an appointment, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524.

This blog post has been updated.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team