Comparing Tooth Replacement Treatments

There is no doubt about it, missing teeth are ugly, embarrassing, and inconvenient. Fortunately, Smile Design Specialists have many wonderful tooth replacement options to help you get back on track to a healthy and functional smile. If you would like to learn more about your tooth replacement options, we recommend that you review the comparison below of the three most popular options and decide which one best suits your individual needs, goals, and budget.

What Are Your Tooth Replacement Treatment Options?

Three of the most popular tooth replacement options are dentures, bridges, and dental implants. Here are some examples of patients who currently have each of the three most popular options and why they chose their particular treatment option. All of the patient names have been modified to protect their privacy.

1) Allen: Dentures

Years of smoking, poor oral health, and gum disease left Allen (68) with a whole row of missing teeth in his upper jaw. Because of his heavy tobacco and gum disease, dental implants were not a good option for Allen. After considering all of his options, Allen chose dentures to replace his missing teeth.

The Benefits of Dentures For Patients Like Allen

This tooth replacement treatment consists of one or multiple rows of artificial teeth anchored into a pink base of specially measured plastic. For patients like Allen on a fixed budget, dentures were a good option at an affordable cost. He was also able to get customized in only two weeks. This allowed him to chew again without oral surgery or a more costly bridge.

Problems With Dentures

When they are compared to the two other treatment options, dentures are generally considered to be the least comfortable option. Patients also say that dentures do not look as natural as bridges or dental implants. Dentures do not stop the process of bone deterioration that can occur in the jaw when teeth are lost. This can ultimately result in a loss of jaw muscle tone and sunken facial features. Additionally, patients sometimes have trouble speaking clearly and enjoying their favorite foods. Denture replacement is usually needed every ten years or so.

2) Patrick: Bridge

Patrick (32) recently lost three teeth on the upper right side of his jaw. Because he was not missing an entire row of teeth, he did not think dentures were a good option. He also has recently undergone cancer treatment, so dental implant surgery was not a good option for health reasons. As a result, Patrick chose a bridge to replace his missing teeth.

The reason Patrick chose a bridge was that it replaced one or more missing teeth by attaching to his surrounding teeth. When patients get a bridge, the adjacent teeth are modified to provide the proper acnhor for the replacement teeth. After his procedure, Patrick can smile, chew, and speak normally once again.

The Benefits of Bridges for Patients Like Patrick

Patrick found that getting a bridge was more cost effective than getting dental implants, no painful surgery was needed, and the procedure was completed much more quickly.

The Problems With Bridges

One of the biggest drawbacks for bridges is that once natural teeth have been ground down for anchors to the bridge teeth, they can never be restored to their original state. This means that the basic structure of the tooth is compromised and when this happens there is greater risk of decay or the need for root canal treatment. Replacement or adjustment is usually needed every 5 to 10 years.

3) Jenny: Dental Implants

After a recent accident, Jenny (52) lost two teeth in her lower jaw. Because she was only missing two teeth, she did not think dentures were right for her. And because she wanted a more permanent option, she did not think a bridge was a good option either.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option that looks, feels, and functions just like a real tooth. Dental implants require no extra maintenance and can be cared for just as you would your natural teeth. Additionally, this amazing tooth replacement treatment is the only one that can reduce or stop the jawbone deterioration that typically occurs when patients lose one or multiple teeth.

What are the Drawbacks of Dental Implants?

One of the drawbacks for dental implants is that they are not usually covered by dental insurance. The process can also take longer than other options that are done in just days or weeks. Dental implants require multiple visits over the course of 3 – 6 months and supplementary procedures like bone grafts and tissue augmentation may be necessary.

Visit Us To Discuss Your Tooth Replacement Options

Here at Smile Design Specialists we can’t wait to help our patients restore their smiles with natural-looking and functional dental implants. With decades of training and experience, our staff is ready to serve the Bergen County, NJ area with exceptional services, superior products, and great prices. If you would like to know more about dental implants, please give us a call for a no-obligation consultation with board certified prosthodontist Dr. Ekstein.

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