Replacing a missing tooth (or several) is important not just for your appearance and self-confidence, but also for your oral health. That’s because even a single missing tooth can eventually lead to a whole host of oral health problems, including more missing teeth over time. Fortunately, when it comes to replacing a lost tooth, you have more than one option. While dentures and bridges are both popular - and traditional, implants are emerging as a preferred option for many men and women looking for an option that looks and feels more like their own natural teeth.
Implant, Denture or Bridge: The Pros and Cons
When it comes to dentistry, the first issue many people consider is cost - and that’s too bad, because when it comes to your oral health (and your overall health as well), cost should never be the first factor. But let’s just get that question out of the way first. Of the three options, implants are the most costly. But that cost comes with a lot of advantages, which will be discussed in a moment. Bridges and dentures - well, the cost really depends on the number of teeth being replaced. Remember - a bridge requires not just the restoration itself, but crowns for the two teeth used to support it, and that adds considerably to the cost.
Now to the more important issues: comfort, appearance and function. In all of these issues, implants are almost always the winner. That’s because implants are designed more like natural teeth, with a post that anchors the tooth in the jaw bone and acts like an artificial tooth root. That means implants won’t slip, they won’t cause sore spots, and they won’t come loose in the middle of a dinner out with friends.
Easy Wear, Easy Care
Those same design features mean most people find implants to be more comfortable than either dentures or bridges, and they’re very easy to care for - just brush and floss them like your own natural teeth and visit the office every six months to ensure your gums stay healthy. No soaking is necessary, and you don’t need to learn any special brushing techniques to reach under or around an affixed bridge. Because they don’t rely on neighboring teeth to stay attached, implants can also be used in the back of the jaw where bridge placement may be impossible or impractical.
Better Oral Health, Greater Self-Confidence
And there’s one more way implants rise above dentures and bridges: That post that’s implanted into the jaw? It acts to stimulate bone cell replacement, preventing bone atrophy that typically occurs with dentures and bridges, and also helping you avoid additional tooth loss associated with bone atrophy.
Finally, there’s the psychological benefit that comes from having a replacement that’s as natural-feeling as an implant. Although tooth loss becomes more common with age, it’s not a natural part of aging, and it can have a major effect on the way you feel about yourself. The natural-toothlike design of implants means you can still feel attractive and youthful after tooth loss, and that’s a benefit that can’t be undervalued.
One more note: If you’re missing lots of teeth, implant posts can also be used to secure dentures so they won’t slip and slide. Give us a call today at 781-330-0900 to learn more about tooth replacement options that can help you enjoy better health and improved self-esteem.