Dental Implants Vs. Alternative Treatments For Missing Teeth

Do you have missing teeth? Is it affecting your confidence, your ability to eat your favorite foods and your love life? With the advancement in dental technology in the past decade, we realize how confusing it may be for you to determine what the best course of treatment is. If you’re considering tooth replacement, we hope this post will empower you with the facts needed to make the right decision. We will also discuss how to avoid making a choice that could prove problematic in the future.

Tooth decay is a cunning foe when patients are not seen by a dentist for regular check-ups. It hides in between teeth and below the gum line. Until the tooth breaks or becomes infected and painful, massive decay can go unnoticed for years. In such cases the decay is so deep a root canal is not a viable option to save the tooth and will need to be extracted. So now a decision needs to be made on how to replace your missing tooth.

Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a permanent artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. In the last decade implants have become the standard for permanently replacing missing teeth. Although you may be discouraged by the initial cost of implants, they actually cost less in the long run than most alternative treatments for replacing missing teeth. The best thing about dental implants…they look and act like natural teeth and if cared for properly will last you a lifetime. Here are some of the benefits of dental implants:  

  1. With implants you will feel free to smile with confidence
  2. Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth
  3. Implants can last a lifetime
  4. Implants don't slip and slide out of place
  5. Dental implants keep surrounding teeth stable
  6. You can avoid the discomfort of typical dentures
  7. Implants will not affect your speech pattern

 

Dentures?

Twenty-Two percent of Americans will have lost all of their teeth by the age of 65. Maybe you are among those who have resigned themselves to or are considering dentures. When teeth are extracted the area of a missing tooth goes unused and bone density diminishes. Bone loss has an impact on the way the face and mouth look. Puckering or collapsing of the cheek and mouth that occurs when teeth are missing. This also makes future implant placement more expensive as bone grafting is needed to replace diminished bone structure to accept an implant successfully.

Although dentures are a solution they still have a downside:

  1. Dentures tend to slip and slide out of place
  2. The daily maintenance needed for cleaning
  3. There is no fear of getting something lodged beneath a denture plate
  4. No painful mouth sores where dentures rub
  5. Having to avoid you favorite foods in fear of dentures dislodging
  6. Dentures will change your speech patterns as they will not move in your mouth as you speak

Note: Many of the problems associated with dentures can be remedied by permanently affixing dentures with mini-implants.

Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are a permanent solution to replacing a missing tooth. However, it involves removal of tooth structure on surrounding teeth. In most cases two perfectly good teeth will need to be altered from their natural state to secure a multi-unit dental bridge.

Although the upfront cost of choosing a bridge instead of a dental implant is significant. In the long run it is cheaper to select a dental implant as bridges need to be replaced every 5-7 years. Whereas a dental implant will last a lifetime.

We have found many patients elect for dental bridges instead of implants upon the advice from there dentist. Please note that some dentists will only treatment plan as it financially benefits their practice. If a doctor needs to refer a patient out to a specialist to place an implant, he will make less money than if he convinces you a dental bridge is your best option.  In this case we suggest asking you dentist why a dental implant is not the appropriate treatment. If you are still questioning his answer, we suggest getting a second opinion. In some cases where bone loss is to extensive or your sinus cavity prevents the placement of an implant and a dental bridge is your second best option.

Although dental bridges are a permanent solution, the too still have a downside:

  1. Bridges are not as natural looking as implants, and therefore are not as aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Bridges need to be replaced periodically. They should be changed every 5-7 years.
  3. Adjacent teeth undergo a lot of preparation that requires the removal of a considerable amount of tooth structure. 

 

Dental Flipper?

A dental flipper is a removable partial denture that is used as a temporary replacement for one or more of your missing teeth. Dental flippers are only intended to be worn temporarily while you wait for your gums to heal to accept an implant. We discourage you from wearing a flipper indefinitely; you might think it’s a low cost alternative.  It’s not and here’s why:

  1. Lightweight material means flippers might break easily
  2. If not properly cared for, flippers can contribute to increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay
  3. Flippers cover your gums so saliva cannot clean your gums properly leading to periodontal disease
  4. Flippers need to grip your existing teeth to work properly, but this grip can quickly loosen surrounding teeth

At Bogota Dental Center we believe that empowering our patients to achieve optimal oral health begins with patient education. We hope you will agree that dental implants should be your first choice when considering tooth replacement. Please accept this $600.00 Gift Card to be used toward your dental implant.

 If you would like to meet with one of our award winning doctors please contact us at 201-343-6770 for a smile assessment. We look forward to welcoming you to the Bogota Dental Center Family!

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Bogota Dental Center

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