The simplest way to fix a missing tooth (Fig.1 *) or teeth is to wear a partial denture or called flipper (Fig.2 *). Probably it is the worst way, because it is quite common for denture wearer to have new cavities in the teeth next to the missing one (Fig.1,3 arrowheads). Fig.3 is a side view of Fig.1.
To prevent cavities between the real teeth such as the one indicated by blue arrowhead in Fig.1, we have to use dental floss every day.
To prevent cavities on the surfaces next to the missing tooth (black arrowhead in Fig.1 and white arrowhead in Fig.3), we should change the way of brushing.
For the best oral health, we recommend brushing the gum line at 45 degrees as shown in Fig.4. When we have one or several missing teeth, we just need to change a little bit brushing techniques to keep neighboring teeth healthy. Change the direction of brushing so that the surfaces next to the missing tooth are being taken care of (Fig.5,6). Dental floss can also be used to clean these areas.
Besides, brush your denture often (after every meal if possible) as well. Do not wear it when you go to sleep. Last, it is not too late to have dental implant. It functions like our natural tooth.
Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 12/18/2011, last revision 09/28/2012