Tooth loss is one of the most common issues for adults in America. Missing teeth affect not only appearance but also the functionality of your mouth. This can have a significant impact on your confidence. The good news is that you do have options for tooth replacement. The two most common options are dental bridges and dental implants.
Both of these options address the issues related to tooth loss, but it's important to understand both of them to determine which is best for you. ZircTeeth offers a hybrid approach: the implant-supported bridge.
In this article, we'll explore all of these options, including the advantages and disadvantages of each. This can help you determine which one will best meet your personal needs.
Most people don't give it much thought, but your tooth is much more complex than you might think. The tooth roots extend into the jawbone, which stimulates and protects it from deterioration. When you lose a tooth, the stimulation is lost, which means that the jawbone will begin to deteriorate, and the resources sent elsewhere in the body. As the jawbone deteriorates, additional tooth loss often occurs.
Dental Implants replace the entire structure of the tooth. This tooth replacement solution consists of 2 to 3 pieces, depending on whether you choose traditional implants or mini implants. Both of these options feature an implant screw, which is inserted into the jawbone. This replaces the tooth root, which restores the stimulation lost from missing teeth.
For a traditional implant, an abutment is required to attach the crown. A mini implant already has the abutment on it. The final step is to attach the crown or other dental prosthetic. The replacement tooth/teeth may be fixed or removable.
The primary advantage is that dental implants look, feel, and function more like natural teeth than other options. Also, they mitigate the long-term risks of tooth loss and remove some of the burdens on neighboring teeth. Plus, they have been proven to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
The primary disadvantage is the cost. Since this is a superior tooth replacement option, it can be costly, especially if you are missing multiple teeth. Plus, the process can take several months to a year or more to complete.
The average cost of dental implants is around $5,000 per tooth. If you need full-mouth restoration, it may cost $60,000+. This just covers the surgery and the implant, it does not take into consideration any other procedures that might be needed such as extraction, gum disease treatment, bone grafting, and more.
Some dental insurance providers classify this procedure as cosmetic and will not cover any portion of the cost- but may cover prep procedures. Other providers have acknowledged the restorative benefits of this procedure and will cover a portion of the treatment.
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement option designed to replace several missing teeth in a row. There are three traditional options:
Dental bridges restore the appearance and some of the functionality lost by missing teeth but cannot withstand as much bite force.
The primary advantage of dental bridges is the cost. This is one of the least expensive, quality options for replacing several missing teeth. Another advantage is that this is a quicker method and does not require bone grafting if you've had some jawbone deterioration.
The primary disadvantage is the increased strain on neighboring teeth, especially those that the bridge is attached to. Therefore, dental bridges typically do not last a lifetime. In addition, a dental bridge does not address the underlying problems associated with missing teeth, such as jawbone loss.
On average, the cost ranges from around $2,500 to $5,000. Most dental insurance providers will cover a portion of the treatment, and some will cover the entire treatment.
There is a third option that combines the best features of both of these options: implant-supported bridge. This option combines the affordability of a dental bridge with the stability and other benefits of implants. For this solution, 2 or more dental implants will be placed, depending on how many teeth are being replaced. Once the implants are in place, the prosthetic teeth will be placed on them.
This option can replace up to an entire arch of missing teeth with only 4 implants. Our dentist, Dr. Ziad Eskandar graduated in 2008 from Boston University School of Dental Medicine. He's undergone extensive training in implant dentistry and is passionate about his patients.
He strives to stay up-to-date on dental technology by spending time taking continuing education courses. His approach to patient care is conservative and he stresses the importance of preventive dentistry. He believes that the first step in quality patient care is to make a connection with his patients and help them understand their options when it comes to treatment.
We have three locations to serve you: Boston, Malden, and Manchester. Schedule your consultation appointment today to learn more about these tooth replacement options and determine which is best for you. The sooner you replace your missing teeth, the sooner you can enjoy life- and smile- again.
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