A dental implant Unless you're in a lot of pain, you might decide to leave your teeth as they are, at least for now. But delaying treatment can be a risky alternative. If your teeth and gums are infected, they will never heal on their own. They'll just keep getting worse. Infections of the teeth and gums can lead to further tooth loss and can drag down your body's immune system, affecting your entire body.

Periodontal therapy may be an alternative if there's still enough sound bone around your teeth. Therapies such as root planing or gum surgery might allow you to keep your teeth.

Root canal therapy may also allow you to keep your teeth. Root canal therapy is used to treat infections of the nerves of teeth. A crown can then be placed to strengthen and protect the tooth.

After periodontal or root canal therapy, bridges or partial dentures could then be used to fill in the spaces.

An overdenture looks the same as a regular denture, but it's placed over specially prepared teeth. Retaining teeth helps preserve the bone in the jaw.

An implant is a small titanium cylinder that is placed into the bone of your jaw. It replaces the root of a missing tooth. An implant with a restoration placed on it could be used to fill in spaces. Implants can also help hold a new denture in