Dental Implants vs. Alternative Treatments

Are you missing teeth? Does it affect your confidence, eating your favorite foods and your social life? Advancements in dental technology over the past decade have made it confusing for patients to determine the best course of treatment.  We hope this post will empower you with the facts needed to make the right decision when considering dental implants and other alternative treatments.

When patients are not seen by a dentist for regular check-ups decay hides in between teeth and below the gum line and until the tooth breaks or becomes infected and painful, massive decay can go undetected for years. In such cases the decay is so deep a tooth needs to be extracted as a root canal is not a viable option to save the tooth. Below you will find the pros and cons of your options before making a decision on how to replace your missing tooth.

Implants?

Dental implants are permanent artificial tooth roots that are placed into your jaw to hold  replacement teeth or bridges. In the past 10 years implants have become a standard for permanent tooth replacement.  Before being discouraged by the upfront cost of implants, please note they actually cost less in the long term than most alternative treatments. The best thing about dental implants…they look and act like natural tooth structure.  When cared for properly dental implants can last you a lifetime. Here are some of the benefits of dental implants:  

  1. Feel free to smile with confidence
  2. Implants look and feel like natural teeth
  3. Implants can last a lifetime
  4. Implants don't dislodge out of place
  5. Dental implants stabilize surrounding teeth
  6. Avoid the discomfort of typical dentures
  7. Speech patterns are unaffected by dental Implants

 

Dentures?

Research provides that Twenty-Two percent of Americans have lost all of their teeth by the age of 65. Are among those who have resigned themselves to or are considering dentures? Also, when teeth are extracted the area of a missing tooth suffers from bone loss. Diminished bone structure has an impact on the way your face and mouth look. Collapsing of the cheek and mouth occurs when teeth are missing and there is no permanent support via dental prosthesis. Future implant placement is more expensive as bone grafting is needed to replace diminished bone structure to accept an implant successfully.

Although dentures are a solution they still have a downside:

  1. Dentures can slip and out of place
  2. Daily maintenance is required
  3. Something can get lodged beneath a denture plate
  4. Painful mouth sores occur where dentures rub
  5. Avoiding you favorite foods in fear of denture coming out
  6. Speech patterns change as they will not move as you speak

Note:  Mini-implants can remedy most problems associated with dentures by permanently affixing prosthesis.

Multi-Unit Dental Bridges?

Another permanent solution for missing tooth is a dental bridge. The problem, it involves removal of tooth structure of surrounding teeth. Instead of restoring an isolated tooth, two perfectly good teeth will need to be significantly altered from their natural state to secure a dental bridge. If dental bridges are not replaced every 7 to 10 years two or more teeth are now susceptible to becoming problematic. The upfront cost of choosing a bridge instead of a dental implant is significant but in the long run it is less expensive as a dental implant will last a lifetime.

Many patients will opt for dental bridges instead of implants as it is recommended by their dentist. Please note that a dentist may treatment plan as it financially beneficial their practice. If a doctor needs to refer you to a specialist to place an implant, he will make less money than if he convinces you a dental bridge is your best choice.  Ask your dentist why a dental implant is not a viable treatment. If you are questioning his answer, get a second opinion. If bone loss is extensive or your sinus cavity prevents the placement of an implant a dental bridge is your second best option.

The downside of dental bridges:

  1. Dental bridges do not look as natural as implants
  2. Bridges need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years adding future cost to the life of the treatment
  3. Surrounding teeth lose a lot of structure during and without proper maintenance are susceptible to inner decay

Dental Flipper?

A flipper is a removable partial denture that temporarily replaces one or more of your missing teeth. Dental flippers are only intended to be worn temporarily as your gums heal to accept an implant. We discourage patients from wearing a flipper indefinitely.  It’s not a permanent solution for your missing teeth and here’s why:

  1. Lightweight material means a flipper breaks easily
  2. Flippers can contribute to increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay If not properly cared for
  3. Flippers cover your gums so saliva cannot clean your gums properly leading to issues associated with periodontal disease
  4. Flippers grip your existing teeth to work properly, this grip can quickly loosen surrounding teeth

At Totowa Dental Center we believe that empowering our patients to achieve optimal oral health begins with patient education. We hope you will agree that dental implants should be your first choice when considering tooth replacement. Please accept this $600.00 Gift Card to be used toward your dental implant.


If you would like to meet with one of our award winning doctors please contact us at 973-890-0600 for an implant consultation. We look forward to welcoming you to the Totowa Dental Center Family!

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Totowa Dental Center

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