Replacing a lost tooth isn’t as difficult to manage as it was in the past. Today, there are various options that a person can choose if they happen to lose a tooth due to an accident, dental fractures or tooth decay. Three of the most common solutions that are available are dental implants, dental bridge and dentures. However, the choice of which one to get isn’t as simple.
When considering how to get back your confident smile, you have to weigh both the pros and cons of each choice and see which one best suits your needs.
Also known as “false teeth”, these are replacement teeth that are usually made out of porcelain, acrylic or cast metal. Making dentures requires us to create a mould of your teeth and jaw, which will help create the tooth shapes, sizes and colour that can best fit your mouth. There are little attachments that snuggly sit against the existing teeth teeth and gums to hold it in place. An initial fitting is then done to make sure that the custom made dentures fit comfortably. Afterwards, subsequent appointments may be scheduled to account for any adjustments that need to be made.
- Can be completed quickly after the initial fitting
- Cheaper option especially if replacing multiple teeth
- Recommended for those with a weak jaw or sensitive gums
- Requires removal and constant maintenance in terms of cleaning
- Doesn’t last as long as dental implants; recommended replacement period every five years or so
- Can be dislodged while eating or chewing, especially if the mouth goes through significant change
- May feel bulky or uncomfortable at times
These are a fixed solution that relies on the teeth adjacent to a missing tooth to “bridge” the gap. It is custom engineered and held together as a unit over existing teeth.
- Higher biting forces possible than a denture and without movement
- Can be sculpted to look & feel like a natural tooth
- Can be cleaned and maintained without removal
- Beneficial if the adjacent teeth already need extra support
- Depends on the condition of the adjacent teeth and gums
- Some extra cleaning and maintenance required in fitting areas
- Larger investment compared to dentures
Compared to bridges and dentures, dental implants are considered to be the more independent and permanent solution for tooth replacements. It starts with an artificial root made of titanium that is surgically set in the bone socket and jaw. The dental implant eventually fuses with the jawbone over a period of three to four months. Afterwards, a replacement tooth is placed and sculpted on top of the implant to support the crown or bridge. The end result is a fully functional and natural-looking tooth.
- More secure tooth replacement that can’t be moved or dislodged
- Can be sculpted to look like a natural tooth
- Can be cleaned and maintained much like natural teeth
- Not prone to cavities since it’s made of titanium and affixed to a prosthesis where cavities can’t occur
- The relatively high-cost difference compared to dentures
- The surgical nature of the procedure can be difficult for people with weak gums and jaws
- Surgery can lead to complications like bleeding and swelling
- Requires more time to complete compared to dentures
So Which Should I Choose?
Dental implants are a popular choice for people with healthy gums and prefer a long-term solution for their missing teeth. With proper oral hygiene, dental implants can last over 20 years without having to replace them. With a good set of gums and a healthy jaw, dental implants can even serve as a good base that can support several missing teeth.
Dental bridges are also a long-proven option in many cases where implants are not an option or not preferable.
On the other hand, for those with weak jaws and gums and replacing multiple teeth, it could be said that it is probably safer to make use of dentures instead.
You have to consider what is right for you beyond just the cost factors when choosing whether to go with dental implants, dental bridges or dentures.
Contact us if you would like help in considering which is right for you.