Dealing with failing teeth can be a stressful time for any patient. When it comes to replacing missing teeth, there are several options to consider before you make the choice right for you. Bridges, dentures and dental implants can all be used to treat missing teeth, but which to choose for your mouth isn't so simple. Your budget and the condition of your teeth will be important factors in your choice, but you should also know the strengths of each treatment option. Today let's examine the most reliable treatment option available - dental implants.
A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a lost tooth that is custom made for your mouth. It is called an implant because an artificial root is placed into the area where the natural tooth root previously was. It is anchored into your jaw and it is a permanent fixture meant to last the rest of your life. The tooth portion looks and functions just like a real tooth. You can chew, bite, and talk, all without worry of it coming loose.
Why You Should Consider Implants
When you lose teeth, it can have a negative impact on the shape of your and mouth and teeth, especially long term. A gap, left untreated, can cause your teeth to shift and your face to sag. Worse yet, a gap in your jawbone where the tooth root once resided can deteriorate and cause further damage to your mouth. For all these reasons, a dental implant represents the best long-term treatment option for missing teeth.
Advantages Over Bridges And Dentures
As we outlined earlier, dental bridges and dentures are the alternative treatment options instead of implants. Initially, these treatments may be more appealing, especially because they are less expensive and less invasive. However you should be aware of the disadvantages of these options before deciding against implants. Let's look at bridges first.
These procedures use nearby healthy teeth to stabilize an artificial tooth between them. Cosmetically these procedures work great, but there are a couple drawbacks to consider. First, bridges have a lifespan of around eight years, and then they need to be replaced. Patients need adjacent healthy teeth to the missing tooth for this to work, and not everyone qualifies. A bridge can be a good temporary treatment option, but it's not always your best choice.
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth that have been used for generations. They provide a good cosmetic appearance, and they can replace several missing teeth in a row. The drawbacks of dentures are numerous and worth carefully considering. Dentures are not permanently fixed in your mouth, and they can make eating and speaking difficult for some users, especially those new to the device. Dentures can also slide around, which makes them uncomfortable to wear. Finally, dentures need regular and routine cleaning so they don't harbor germs. Often those who use dentures wear them during the day and sleep without them at night. Not everyone will like the feeling of sleeping without teeth. For all these reasons, dentures might not be the best option for some patients.
Considerations For Implants
If you'd like to explore the option of implants for your missing teeth, there are a few things to consider before you make your decision. First, you must have reasonable bone health to support the implant. Your dentist can help evaluate the condition of your jaw and if it is strong enough to support implants. Also, as we mentioned earlier, dental implants are the most expensive treatment option available. However, when compared to the additional cost of replacing dental bridges every eight years or so, implants become the more practical option for many patients.
Get An Evaluation
If you're interested in dental implants, schedule a consultation today at Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry. We'll walk you through your options, treatment costs, and other details so you know all you need to before you make this important decision. Call or schedule an appointment today, or feel free to send us an email with you questions. We're here to help!