Missing one or several teeth can severely affect your quality of life.
Studies show up to 69 percent of adults aged 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. Thankfully, dental technology has advanced, and when it comes to the best tooth replacement option you’ll find that they’re so good that you might not even be aware that friends of yours are missing teeth.
With all the different tooth-replacement options to choose from, you may find yourself wondering which tooth-replacement option is the best for your specific situation. Dental implants provide long-term stability and are excellent for your jawbone, while dentures are a good fit no matter what condition your gums and teeth are in. A dental bridge falls in between the two options, as it’s a fixed prosthetic, providing stability. All three options can provide you with the beautiful, lifelike smile you deserve. Let’s talk about these three options and which one is best for you.
Considered the gold standard in tooth-replacement options, a dental implant may be an excellent option if you’re a candidate for one. The titanium implant is surgically inserted into your jawbone, providing stimulation to your jawbone, helping it maintain its density and structure. The result is that your jawbone remains strong and you’ll be able to maintain a youthful smile.
So, are there any drawbacks? Getting an implant requires you to already have optimum jawbone density. The good news is that if you don’t have the jawbone density required prior to the procedure, you may be a candidate for bone grafting.
Some people with pre-existing health conditions may not be a candidate for implants. While the rate of implant success is very good, if you have a condition that slows down healing, it may cause the implant to fail
And, finally, children aren’t a candidate for implants, as their jawbones are still growing. What about older people, you may ask? As long as their jawbone density and oral health are in good shape and they don’t have pre-existing health conditions stopping them, there is no age limit to getting implants.
The cost of implants up front makes them appear to be the most expensive option, but over time, the cumulative cost of implants may be lower than other tooth-replacement options. Talk to your dental team about payment options if you’re looking to receive implants.
If you’re looking for a faster, more immediate solution, partial dentures are your way to go. These removable prosthetics are custom fabricated for your mouth, giving you a beautiful smile and more function. They are less expensive than tooth implants upfront, only take several weeks—as opposed to several months as implants do—and don’t require any procedures to be fitted. They can replace one tooth or an entire arch, whatever you need.
As technology advances, dentures are being fabricated to look more and more lifelike and they function better than ever before. If this is your only option, it is a very good option.
However, if you want something fixed but you aren’t a candidate for tooth implants, you might look into a dental bridge.
A dental bridge can be used to replace one to four adjacent missing teeth. The two teeth on either side of the missing teeth are used as anchors for the dental bridge, which is permanently fixed.
You can think of it as an option halfway between dentures and dental implants. A dental bridge, like implants, takes two or more procedures to complete. It requires that your gums and mouth are in good health, and that the adjacent teeth are strong and able to support the bridge. It prevents your teeth from shifting out of position and restores your chewing and speaking ability. When taken care of, it can last a long time.
There’s a tooth-replacement option for every individual situation.
All three options can provide you with the smile you’ve been dreaming of. They all restore your ability to chew and bite into food, and speak. And all three options prevent your teeth from shifting into the gap and causing more problems.
Dental implants are the most like natural teeth in how they function and are best for your jawbone health, but not everyone is a candidate. Bridges are another excellent solution, however, they require your adjacent teeth to be in good shape. Dentures are made to be more functional, aesthetically pleasing, and solid than ever before, so they’re also a great option if you are not a candidate for the other two solutions.
Getting your missing tooth replaced is a big step, so talk to your team at Staley Dental. Dr. Staley can help you make an informed decision on which tooth-replacement option is the right one for you. If you are suffering from tooth loss, soon it will be a thing of the past! Most importantly, you can have a custom-crafted, beautiful, and functioning smile.