Missing teeth can be replaced with bridges, dentures, or dental implants – all of which have a place in dental treatment. Fixed bridges and removable dentures cost less than dental implants, but they are not always the best solution. The first thing most of us think of is that removable dentures can slip or cause embarrassing sounds while the wearer is eating or speaking. Of even greater concern, placement of fixed bridges often requires the partial cutting of the healthy teeth next to them; removable dentures may lead to bone loss in the area where the tooth or teeth are missing; and recurrent decay, gum disease and other factors can lead to the failure of fixed bridgework. For these reasons, bridges and dentures usually need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years, compared to an average 25-year life span for dental implants.