Why in 2020 would anyone consider something besides an implant and what are the alternatives?
Today the most common questions people ask me are about dental implants*. The next questions are always about cost. There are many benefits of implants. They become a solid base to build teeth as they are connected directly to your jaw bone. They chew very much like teeth and you brush and floss them just as you would natural teeth. Some reasons you may investigate other methods of restoring teeth include cost, time and quality of the jaw where the teeth are missing.
While in a few instances, implants can be restored on the day they are placed, typically we wait 4 to 6 months for healing. Time can be magnified if we need to repair or augment the implant site which adds another 4 to 6 months to the process.
Quality of bone:
If you lost teeth due to gum problems or you had a tooth extracted a few years ago, the bone has changed and usually “melted away.” In these cases, before implants can be placed, the bone must be augmented by bone grafting. Bone grafting’s benefits allow us to place implants where years ago we could not. It does, however, increase healing time and cost.
We often overlook more traditional types of treatment. When you have lost multiple back teeth or lost teeth in several places we only have a couple of options: implants or something removable.
What are the alternatives to implants?
There are many factors that need to be considered while making the decision to restore teeth. Partials and dentures are still the most economical way to replace multiple missing or bad teeth. Modern partials and dentures are not like the ones your grandparents wore. Just ask and we will be happy to explain more about them.
How are we ever going to navigate through all these choices?
What is a dental implant? It is a small titanium screw that is placed in the bone and fuses over time.
What is a bridge? When there is a space, or missing tooth, teeth on either side may be used to support a cemented bridge. Once cemented they are permanent and are brushed and flossed like the rest of your teeth.
What is a partial denture, or partial? It is an appliance that fits to existing teeth and replaces teeth that are missing. It is removable and is taken in and out for cleaning.
What is a denture? When all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw are missing, the appliance that replaces those teeth is a denture.