Dentures, bridges, or implants? All are options when it comes to replacing the missing tooth. It’s essential to understand the differences between each dental restoration and have a plan in place for your unique needs.
They offer different benefits depending on what needs to be done to fix any gaps. Still, they all have their pros and cons that should be considered before choosing which option would work best for you.
This blog post explores all of those things so you can make an educated choice when it comes to your oral health care needs!
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that replaces a tooth root and provides a strong foundation for a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture. The artificial tooth root is a reliable and long-term solution for those who have lost their teeth due to injury, decay, gum disease. The two types of implants are subperiosteal and endosteal implants.
You can use them to replace one single tooth, multiple consecutive ones, or even an entire arch of teeth. These artificial replacements feel like the real ones with no discomfort, unlike the traditional dentures, which tend to slide around when you chew on hard foods.
Success rates vary depending on where in the jaw they are placed. In general, the success rate is 98%, but care is required to maintain them to last a lifetime.
Learn more about: Dental Implants: Costs, Procedures, Types & Benefits
Pros of Dental Implants
- Appearance: Aside from looking natural, implants won’t feel any different from your real teeth. It is anchored securely into your jaw so that it will be just as strong and stable as your real ones. You’ll be able to eat and talk as you normally would.
- Bone structure: The tooth root stimulates bone growth. Hence when a tooth is removed, the bone surrounding the site of the missing tooth starts to break down and deteriorate. Since the screw of the implant is anchored into your jaw and acts as a root, your jaw bone remains strong; thus, there won’t be any bone loss.
- Durability: A lot of people get dentures, which can only last five to eight years. However, implants are a permanent option and will not wear out with the proper care that they need. They’re fused into your jaw bone for stability, so as long as you take good care of them, they will last as long or longer than your real teeth.
- Practical benefits: These implants are a great way to have an aesthetically pleasing smile without the hassle of dentures. Titanium posts fuse to your jaw bone and do not loosen like dentures; thus, they will stay in place despite any force applied by speech or eating.
Cons of Dental Implants
- Time: Dental implant surgery is a long and complicated procedure that can take up to six months of healing time if everything goes right according to plan. There are multiple steps involved during the treatment, so if you’re looking for a quick fix to replace your tooth, this may not be the answer.
- Infections: The risk that your gum tissue can get infected after dental implant placement seems to be rare, but it’s a possibility. In severe cases, it could result in bone loss or periodontal disease.
- Additional procedures: If there is insufficient bone mass, bone grafting has to be done to bolster your jawline may be needed. Bone augmentation can help create space for the tooth implant and attach it seamlessly. Sinus lifts are sometimes necessary to give the dental surgeon enough room during oral surgery, however, this process lengthens both waiting times and overall costs associated with dental implants.
- Cost: It is a more expensive treatment option, but they last for decades, and you never have to worry about replacing them again. One important thing to remember is that even if your insurance covers some of the costs, it won’t cover all of it; expect an out-of-pocket cost depending on what plan type you’re on. We wrote a detailed blog posts about the cost of dental implants.
What are Dentures?
Dentures or false teeth are a way of restoring the look and function that your natural teeth provide. It can be either partial or complete, depending on what you need them for. For example, a partial denture could replace just one tooth; however, alternatively, dentures may cover all of your missing teeth and supported by the surrounding tissues.
Pros of Dentures
- Cost – Dentures are the most affordable treatment option for patients, who can get them from $1200-$2500 depending on how much work needs to be done.
- Non-Invasive – A quick fix, and there is no surgery required; hence it is the best option after recently losing a tooth. It allows your mouth to recuperate before considering implants. When an additional tooth is removed in the future, it’s easy to alter the denture to accommodate the tooth loss.
Cons of Dentures
- Ill-fitting – A denture does not always provide a good fit for your mouth. It is because it has to be removed and inserted frequently, which can cause damage if it doesn’t have space inside for insertion. Moreover, there are gaps and spots where food can get trapped between the denture and your mouth. Hence, a thorough dental routine must be observed at all times, or you can develop tooth decay or severe health problems.
- Unstable – Dentures often move inside your mouth. There are still natural teeth left in your mouth for a partial denture, yet the denture is not attached directly to those healthy teeth. For a complete denture, there are no more teeth left in your mouth to keep it in place; the only thing that’s holding it in place is a vacuum seal.
- Self-conscious – Since the materials used in manufacturing the dentures are acrylic and metal, they do not look natural. Hence, you would be conscious of wearing them because they’re pretty noticeable.
- Loosens teeth – if you have a partial denture, it may move the other teeth each time you insert and remove it from your mouth or even biting. It pushes the denture and the teeth holding it; hence this constant movement loosens the remaining teeth. It could also result in possible infection or bite problems.
What are Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are composed of one to three prosthetic teeth and crown that are custom-made and colour matched to blend with the others, providing a seamless finish. Unlike dentures, these are permanently cemented into the mouth. Therefore, there’s no need to take it out to be cleaned.
These are attached at either end with a dental crown fitted atop the healthy teeth at both ends of the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. Thus, it is an excellent restorative option to close the gap of the lost tooth and bring back the smile.
Pros of Dental Bridges
- Appearance: It’s commonly made from alloy and porcelain; thus, it is significantly more aesthetically pleasing than dentures.
- Better fit – It has a more accurate fit than the denture. Any tooth that is missing is substituted by very closely fitting porcelain onto metal. In this manner, the fit is not only better, but you would feel way less conscious since it is barely detectable. It brings your bit back to normal and helps you speak more clearly. Unlike dentures, it prevents the adjacent teeth from displacing this, reducing the risk of misalignment in the future.
- Longevity – A tooth bridge lasts longer than a denture because it is made from a more precise technique devised to fit well in your mouth and joins any remaining teeth together.
- Cost – This is the most significant advantage of dental bridges since they are cheaper than dental implants and are deemed cost-effective solutions to missing teeth.
Cons of Dental Bridges
- Only for shorter gaps – This treatment is not for everyone with missing teeth since it only works when there are one or two missing teeth, and all the rest must be in good health. Otherwise, a different dental procedure should be used because only one dental bridge set could be designed. If the span of the bridge is too long, it may break when pressure is applied in the middle of the span.
- Needs to be replaced – Since the bridge is attached to its two adjacent strong teeth, it puts strain on them. Therefore, bridges need constant replacement, although a well-fitted bridge can last up to 10 years or more.
- Bone loss – A dental bridge does not inhibit bone loss from happening. It implies that long-term issues associated with it will remain even though it has resolved the issue of teeth gap.
Which Is the Right Dental Treatment for Me?
While these options replace missing teeth and essentially address the same problem, the dental treatments are very different. When you’re searching for the most suitable solution for missing teeth, it’s crucial to know what alternative treatment is available to you. It’s also essential to have a complete understanding of what every procedure involves before choosing which best meets your individual needs. You must also be aware of your dental health and condition since it determines which treatment works best.
If you’re looking for a quick and affordable solution, then dentures might be good for you. If money isn’t an issue but time is, then a dental bridge would be more appealing because of its quicker recovery time. On the other hand, a dental implant will result in the most natural-looking replacement tooth over time due to its durability and ability to integrate with the bone in the healing process, making them ideal if you are looking for long-term results.
Learn more about: Who Can Get Dental Implants
We hope this article has helped you to understand the different tooth replacement options. Suppose you’re a candidate and is considering any of these options or want more information about them. In that case, we recommend getting in touch with the experts at Burwood Dental Care at 03 7034 0333. Our dentist will be happy to provide quality service and answer any questions you might have and give recommendations based on what we know about your oral health. They’ll also help make sure that every step of the way is safe and comfortable for their patients, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.