If you have lost a natural tooth, or if you are at risk for tooth loss, it is helpful to understand your options for tooth replacement. There are a variety of customizable solutions for replacing missing teeth, ranging from temporary to permanent. Naturally, the investment associated with each solution can vary widely as well.
For many decades, dental implants have been the highest quality tooth replacement alternative. Their natural design, durable structure, and attractive appearance have made them a winning solution for millions of patients.
As our oral surgeons can tell you, there are even more reasons to love dental implants. From a financial standpoint, implants tend to last longer than other artificial teeth. Also, implants require far less time and expense for long-term maintenance.
For example, a removable solution such as a denture or partial is typically a quicker and less costly alternative to implants. However, the ongoing expense of maintaining a removable appliance can begin to multiply rapidly. These appliances, made from plastic, acrylic, and metal can fracture or distort over time. For minor damage, the repair may involve patching or adjusting. For extensive damage, you may have to have a new appliance fabricated.
Removable appliances also require continual adjustments and relines as the shape of the mouth and jaw structure changes. The expense and inconvenience of additional dental office visits should certainly be taken into account for patients who are considering this option.
A fixed bridge is a sturdier, permanent alternative to removable appliances. Still, the long term cost of maintaining a bridge should be considered. A bridge is designed to connect to at least two natural teeth and cannot be taken in and out for daily cleaning. Instead, a special floss threader must be purchased in order to gain access to the space beneath the bridge. Without careful flossing, food and plaque can easily accumulate, resulting in tooth decay or periodontal disease. It is unfortunate that, if your bridge becomes compromised in this manner, a complete replacement is often the only alternative.
By comparison, your dental implant can significantly reduce your long-term costs in terms of maintenance and repair expenses. Implants require no special supplies or care, as long as they are brushed and flossed like your natural teeth. Routine dental exams and cleanings are a sufficient way to protect your investment, and there is little risk of damage or complications on a daily basis. Your implant is designed to endure a lifetime of chewing and smiling.
For assistance with your tooth replacement decision, contact our experienced team at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates for a professional consultation today.