Comparing Tooth Replacement Options
Dental Implants vs Dentures and Bridges
From dental implants to dentures and bridges, the team at Parkview Dental offers a full range of tooth replacement options. Everyone has their own unique dental needs, and it is important to match the appropriate treatment to the patient. It is also true that each treatment has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which must be accounted for. Read on to learn how removable dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants compare as tooth restoration treatments.
Option One: Removable Dentures
Removable dentures refer to a series of prosthetic teeth set in a pink, gum-colored acrylic. This full mouth restoration then sits on top of the patient’s gums, held in place by a combination of adhesive and suction. For patients missing some teeth in an arch, custom partial dentures may be made to restore the smile.
Many patients choose to restore removable dentures to replace missing teeth because they can be created quickly, and are less expensive. As they also don’t require surgery for placement, dentures can be recommended to almost any patient without having to perform an extensive medical history check. As dentures are custom made to patients’ dentitions, they are perfectly capable of helping you eat and speak comfortably.
Disadvantages of Dentures
Compared with other restoration treatments, dentures tend to wear quickly and often – typically, dentures last between five to ten years. Over the course of use however, dentures often wear on soft gum tissue, creating sores and making the denture uncomfortable to use. Furthermore, as the denture sits above the gums, it misses out on the opportunity to stimulate the jawbone. This cause the supportive bone to shrink, ultimately changing bite alignment and strength.
Option Two: Dental Bridges
Available as either a fixed or removable option, dental bridges are sets of crowns fused together to fill in gaps left by broken or missing teeth. In fixed dental bridges, the prosthetic teeth on either end are crowns that are attached to healthy teeth next to the gap. Removable bridges are supported by a thin metal base which fits much like a retainer.
Dental bridges are a popular missing only a few teeth because it is quick, inexpensive, and does not require surgery. They are low risk and dental bridge pieces are easily replaceable, should it be required. With a dental bridge, the patient will be able to chew, speak, and smile without any complications.
One of the most glaring disadvantages of dental bridges is the fact that the neighboring teeth must be altered in order to attach and support the restoration. This puts these otherwise healthy teeth at a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Fixed bridges also require meticulous care and daily cleaning, which can be difficult and only puts already vulnerable teeth at risk of decay.
Option Three: Dental Implants
Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth that uses titanium tooth roots surgically placed directly into the patient’s jawbone to support a dental crown or other form of restoration.
Our patients enjoy their dental implant results as they look, feel, and function just like their natural teeth. Since implants are directly fused to the jawbone, the patient’s restoration should never move out of place or fall out. Implants also do not require additional maintenance to stay healthy. Brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups are all that’s needed. By maintaining good oral hygiene habits, dental implants can last for decades.
Dental implants are the most invasive and time consuming of the three tooth restoration procedures as they require surgery to complete. Likewise, not all patients immediately qualify for dental implants and must undergo some preliminary treatment to prepare their smiles. As treatment is less likely to be covered by dental insurance, dental implant patients often pay more out of pocket than they would for the other tooth replacement treatments.