Every tooth in your mouth is vital to maintaining proper alignment. When teeth are missing — even one tooth — the adjacent teeth can drift into the spaces left behind, and this can have an effect on your bite, your speech, your smile, and even the shape of your face.
When several teeth are missing, the option is usually between partial dentures and bridges. While both improve your ability to chew and talk, a decision will depend on how each will work with your remaining teeth, because they function differently. Also, each system has a unique care regimen, which may weigh on your decision. The goal is to preserve your oral health, which depends on good dental hygiene, and decrease the risk of periodontal disease and expensive treatments. It can also ease stress on your jaw.
If you have multiple missing teeth that need to be replaced, and/or if there is a risk of more tooth loss, a partial denture may be the best choice, while bridges work best when there are small gaps on the same side of your mouth, and adjacent teeth already have crowns. Another consideration is that partial dentures are easier to adjust and repair, and if you have budget constraints, they are usually less expensive. If you tend to drop or misplace things, though, partial dentures can become broken or lost, while a non-removable bridge remains safely fixed in your mouth.