Whether you have congenitally missing teeth or you’ve suffered from tooth decay or dental trauma, missing a tooth can make life more difficult. Chewing, speaking, and maintaining a visually appealing smile are things we often take for granted but become a huge hassle when you’re suddenly down a tooth.
Pros: The biggest advantages of dental implants are that they prevent bone loss, securely hold the tooth replacement in the mouth so they don’t move, and their long-term durability. Implants last for 25 years on the lower end and with proper care, can last an entire lifetime.
They’re low maintenance when it comes to caring for and cleaning them. You don’t have any diet restrictions with this tooth replacement. Because implants restore the tooth’s root as well as the crown, they look and feel incredibly natural.
Cons: As superior as dental implants are as a tooth replacement, they aren’t suitable for everyone. If you don’t have sufficient jaw bone, you may require bone grafting to support the implants.
However, if you have damaged gums from gum disease, you may not be a good candidate for implants. Implants are also quite costly and time-consuming. They require multiple appointments and many months of healing.
This doesn’t make them ideal for those on a tight budget or schedule. They are also much more invasive than their alternatives, as they require multiple oral surgeries.
Pros: Dentures are the best option when it comes to replacing all of the teeth in an arch or both arches of the mouth. They help restore the structure and function of their teeth and don’t always require invasive surgery. This is the most affordable option for teeth replacement.
Partial dentures can also replace multiple teeth on either side of the mouth, unlike bridges. The best part is that everyone is a candidate for dentures, even if you have a deteriorating jawbone and gums. They are easy to clean because they are removable.
Cons: Wearing dentures accelerates bone loss because of the pressure it places on the ridge of bone. They can also cause difficulties with enunciating and chewing. Patients often find it embarrassing or inconvenient that their dentures move around when they eat or speak.
You will likely face limitations in your diet if you wear full dentures. Full dentures also require extracting your remaining teeth. The lifespan of dentures is also much shorter, lasting for about 5-10 years.
You will need to have your dentures replaced because the structure of your face will change due to bone loss and your dentures will no longer fit properly. You need to remember to remove and properly store your dentures. Implants are meant for replacing a single tooth. Otherwise, you will need an implant-supported bridge or denture, which will cost more.
Pros: Bridges are a cheaper alternative to implants, as they are also a fixed tooth replacement. This means you don’t need to remember to remove them and they will feel very sturdy and natural.
You won’t have to worry about your teeth moving around on you, because bridges are much more secure. The bridge is anchored by your teeth. This is a much faster and less invasive option than implants and allows you to replace multiple teeth. There is no surgery required and patients can be candidates without any bone grafting procedures.
Cons: Bridges are more expensive than dentures and can only replace teeth on one side of the mouth. The teeth need to be consecutive to replace multiple teeth. Otherwise, you will require another dental bridge entirely.
They are much more high maintenance when it comes to oral hygiene because it can be difficult to thoroughly brush and floss between the bridge and the rest of your grin. To prepare for a bridge, we need to file down your natural healthy teeth so they can receive crowns. They have a much shorter lifespan compared to implants, as their maximum lifespan is 15 years. They also do not prevent bone loss.
Dental implants are the best option when it comes to replacing a missing tooth with a sturdy long-term tooth replacement that will not lead to bone loss. However, if you have multiple missing teeth or aren’t a good candidate for implants, dentures or bridges may be more suitable.