While dentists commonly recommend dental implants for a missing tooth or teeth, there are other options. Unfortunately, these options do have their downsides, which is why dental implants were created. Here is every option to dental implants, along with the pros and cons of each:
Dentures are the classic alternative to a missing tooth or teeth. Many people feel that these are their only option, though with the development of dental procedures like the dental implant, patients have many more modern and comfortable options.
Pros: Dentures have the benefit of replacing missing teeth and they are more fitted than they used to be. Modern dentures are also made of an acrylic resin, which makes them more effective and longer lasting than the plastic dentures of the past. Finally, imaging technology has improved, which means dentures have a much better fit than they used to.
Cons: When compared with the dental implant, dentures don’t really hold up. They aren’t nearly as comfortable, dentures can trap food, and can make your mouth more prone to infection. Additionally, dentures require equipment like adhesives to hold them in place and special cleaning materials. Finally, dentures do not protect the bones in your mouth, leading to increased bone loss. When a patient has partial dentures they can wear on the patient’s natural teeth.
Fixed Crown and Bridge
Dental crowns are used in many types of procedures, including in dental implants. However, when they are paired with bridges you have a very specific dental prosthetic.
Pros: A dental bridge is a procedure used to replace teeth in a more permanent manner than dentures. It is called a “bridge” because it bridges the gap between teeth. It is cemented to existing teeth or to implants. It is then capped with a crown. This procedure is great for keeping your mouth looking natural if you are missing just one or two teeth.
Cons: A bridge relies upon surrounding teeth to support itself. If you are missing most of your teeth or your teeth are not healthy enough to support a bridge, this can cause an issue. Additionally, to install a bridge your dentist must shave down the supporting teeth so that the prosthetic will fit. So, a bridge may ultimately damage the integrity of your teeth.
Implant Retained Dentures
Implant retained dentures are a great option for people missing many or all of their teeth on their upper or lower jaw, or for individuals that already wear dentures but are not satisfied with the loose fit. The overdentures work by utilizing implants to securely hold your dentures in place. The denture is made with attachments that grasp the implants below, creating a secure and comfortable fit.
Pros: The advantage for overdentures is that they are much more stable and help protect against bone loss. They remove the need for sticky adhesives that one would traditionally use when wearing regular dentures, especially on the lower jaw.
Cons: The attachments need to be replaced over time, which is typically very simple. Because they are still a removable denture, they will always require removal and cleaning at night.
We addressed why dental implants are so superior to many dental options in our previous article. We hope this article helps further define why we here at Andersen Dental Center in Salmon Creek encourage our patients to take advantage of our free dental implant consultation. If you would like to use this special offer, book your appointment and let us know that you heard about the free dental implant consultation. We look forward to serving you!