Are There Cheaper Options for Dental Implants?
The loss of a tooth, or even worse, multiple teeth is never a pleasant experience. It feels unnatural to walk around with a missing tooth. Even worse, it can alter your daily routine. Eating and speaking can become problematic, depending on the number of teeth that are missing. In such situations, it is crucial to find a way to return the functionality and aesthetics of your natural teeth. The best thing to do in this case is get dental implants. They are a great, long-term solution for replacing teeth. Unfortunately, due to their cost, they are not always an option for some patients. These are some of the more affordable alternative treatments available.
Alternatives to Implants
While there are a number of cheaper alternatives available on the market, your options are limited to your current situation. The number of teeth you have missing and the quality of remaining natural teeth will determine which dental prosthesis best meets your needs.
Dentures are a removable type of dental prosthesis. They are a cheaper alternative to implants. They can be used when a patient is missing a couple or all of their teeth. While the type of dentures you can get depends on your specific situation, it is good to know what dental options exist.
If your remaining teeth are still relatively healthy and strong enough, you can consider partial dentures. These dentures are designed to replace only a small portion of teeth. However, it is important to note that they use surrounding natural teeth for support. They are set in place by precision metal clasps that are put in place by your dentist. They are a viable solution since they can quickly replace missing teeth and prevent surrounding teeth from moving.
Full dentures are what most people imagine when they hear dentures. They are the best option for those that have lost all of their upper or bottom teeth. An important thing to note about dentures is that they cannot be fitted in immediately after tooth loss. The gums need to heal enough to support them.
Bridges are a good solution if you still have natural teeth that provide structure. Patients looking for a more permanent solution should consider bridges. These are permanent dental prostheses that are attached to surrounding teeth, also referred to as abutment teeth. Bridges are fixed into place with a special type of bonding material and can only be removed by a dentist. The reason why some people might prefer bridges to dentures is that their feel and function is closer to a natural tooth. Common types of bridges include:
Traditional Dental Bridges
A traditional bridge can consist of one or more missing teeth. These bridges are held up by dental crowns that are cemented onto surrounding natural teeth. These abutment teeth are then the supporting structure that holds the bridge in place and provides a more natural look and feel to the patient.
Cantilever Dental Bridges
While a Cantilever bridge is very similar to a traditional bridge, it differs in its support. The pontic (false tooth or teeth) is cemented to only one adjacent tooth.
Maryland Dental Bridges
Maryland bridges are similar to traditional bridges in the sense that they need two natural teeth on either side of the gap as support. The difference lies in the way they are bonded to the abutment teeth. While a traditional bridge will use dental crowns, a Maryland bridge will make use of a metal or porcelain framework that is bonded to the back of the supporting teeth.
When considering your options for a missing tooth, it is always best to look at the long run. Teeth are vital to us. That is why it is best to consider not only the amount you will have to pay upfront but also the subsequent visits and work that has to be done.