Replacing Missing Teeth

Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. You may also experience headaches and/or jaw pain.

Who would want their appearance and health to deteriorate? That’s the natural consequence of missing teeth – the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes. The great news? Implants act just like your natural teeth. They safeguard and preserve your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Your dentist and the implant surgeon will provide you with options so that you can make the most informed decision concerning tooth replacement.

Tooth Replacement Options

You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.
A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.

An example of a dental fixed bridge

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.

A sample of a removable retainer with a plastic tooth known as a flipper


A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.

A depiction of a sturdy partial denture cast in metal and plastic

Metal Partial

A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.

A representation of a full denture for the entire lower jaw


The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.

A visual of a permanent dental implant to replace missing teeth

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of the surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

What Are Dental Implants?

A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.

Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.  A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.


A smiling elderly man

“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”

For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Rake, Rake, Indovina, Stacy, Jaberi and French are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.

Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Drs. Rake, Rake, Indovina, Stacy, Jaberi and French perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions and bone grafting, if necessary.  The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.

Dakota Valley Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

5 out of 5 stars based on 18 Dental Implants reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

My experience at Dakota Valley OMS was exceptional. I was very nervous about having my tooth extracted, because I was in the middle of having Chemotherapy treatment. Dr. Angie Rake and her assistant Mary put all my concerns at ease. The extraction was quick and painless. I decided that I wanted to get an implant to replace my tooth. Dr. A. Rake carefully prepared me for the next steps. This involves several visits to complete. Each and every time I saw Dr. A. Rake, I was met by her friendly manner and professionalism. I actually looked forward to going to the Lakeville office. It was close to me and has state of the art equipment. I felt safe and comfortable at each visit. I highly recommend this dental group.

- Sandy H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

To Doctor Angie Rake and her team , I want to thank you very much for all the work that was completed in getting my dental implant done. The overall friendliness and after care of each procedure was superb. Thank you so much for making my visits as painless and seamless as possible.

- Anja Stephanis

4 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The entire staff was friendly and well trained. The assistant explained everything in a language even a geezer like me could understand. The office is very lucky to have her on staff. Dr. Scott Rake is excellent. I have had a number of procedures with him and have never had a problem. He explains everything in appropriate detail as he proceeds. I wouldn't even consider going to another oral surgeon. I feel very confident highly recommending him to my family and friends!

- Dallas c

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Dr. Indovina was my third consult for my implant, after my visit with him I felt more comfortable with him and his staff. They sure made me feel very comfortable in the office. I chose local anesthesia with my extraction plus bone graft and it was the fastest and smooth process ever, didn't feel a thing! Cari, the dental assistant was very detailed in explaining the pre and post care. Sarah, the front desk staff took care of all paperwork and insurance with no issues. All claim submission has been a smooth process. I highly recommend Dr. Indovina, he is sure one of the best out there! I Will highly recommend him to anyone I know and even at the office, I work at. Thank you Dr. Indovina and staff.

- Louise Anne Sanchez-Pineda S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I had several partials l and several bridges to other teeth, buts nothing is as comfortable as implants Staff is very friendly and polite. Every procedure is smoothly and understanding manner.

- Coletta L

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

After having 3 implants (one with bone grafting), I was truly pleased with the quality of worked performed and the knowledge and kindness of the entire staff. I recommend this office to all needing implants.

- Cindy R

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The entire staff at your Eagan office did an outstanding job in making my visit as comfortable as possible. The prompt attention to my arrival with direct, and clear direction made me feel most welcome. Both Angie and Monica were able to answer my questions on my first appointment and when I contacted them via phone several times. Their advice was right on. I was most impressed during the procedures by both Crystal and Christie(?) and also by Crystal's phone follow up and council on the 2 days after work was performed. Also it goes without saying Dr. Indovina isa true professional leaving me with a 100% positive feeling on my decisions and our plan as I left your office. This visit with him reinforced my decision to use him and Dakota Vallery without any need to conside other options. in conclusion my overall feeling after this procedure and your operation was that I was important to you and you honestly cared about me. Thank You......Michael Faust

- Michael F

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Excellent service.....Thanks...

- Co S

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Very professional, courteous, caring and knowledgable. Explain what is being done and gets the procedure done in a timely manner. I would highly recomend the Doctors and staff.

- Jack J

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Fast, friendly and painless....Thanks for all the good work.

- Mark P

5 out of 5 stars on