If you have multiple damaged or missing teeth, you’re already well aware of the serious impact this can have on your overall health, comfort, confidence, and quality of life. From cosmetic issues and speech problems to chronic pain, dietary restrictions, bone loss, and decay, the list of related conditions and complications is extensive.
Dental implants have become the gold standard for tooth replacement and are the preferred method for most patients and dentists alike. That being said, implants can require a relatively significant investment of time and finances.
At Doctors Implants, our groundbreaking 6 Hour Smile drastically reduces the timeframe for dental implant surgery, but many patients still wonder about other tooth replacement options. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common alternatives to dental implants and also highlight the reasons why our world-class Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly prefer implants in almost all instances.
While we always support our patients in researching their options, we’re also committed to making dental implants a medically and financially viable option for all. Simply put, we believe implants are simply the best.
Let us tell you why:
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing or damaged teeth. Composed of prosthetic teeth anchored by posts inserted into the jawbone, they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
While receiving dental implants has traditionally required multiple procedures over a span of months, the leading surgical team at Doctors Implants has refined a full-arch or full mouth dental implant procedure that can be completed in a single day (the 6 Hour Smile).
Why Are Dental Implants the Preferred Tooth Replacement Solution?
Dental implants have many benefits when compared to other tooth replacement solutions. These include:
- When cared for properly, dental implants offer a permanent tooth replacement solution.
- Dental implants feel just like natural teeth.
- They stimulate the jawbone and help to prevent bone loss.
- Dental implants prevent facial sagging and premature aging while restoring confidence.
Semi-Permanent Options for Missing Teeth
In general, patients seeking tooth replacement are hoping to find a solution that is as permanent as possible. The options below are meant to be long-term, though they don’t rival the longevity of dental implants:
A dental bridge is a non-surgical tooth replacement option that involves suspending a prosthetic tooth or teeth between two healthy teeth. Crowns are placed over the supporting teeth to create an optimal anchor that will hold the prosthetic teeth in place and prevent shifting or movement. Dental bridges can also be anchored using implants.
Dental bridges may require less recovery time than implants, but they are inferior in the following ways:
- Dental bridges are typically used to replace one or two missing teeth—not a full arch.
- They are not a permanent solution, usually needing replacement every 5-10 years.
- They are not as secure as dental implants nor do they help to prevent bone loss.
- Bacteria and plaque can build up under bridges that are poorly fitted or poorly cared for.
- They can cause damage to surrounding teeth over time.
Full or Partial Dentures
Removable dentures have historically been the go-to option for full-arch or full mouth tooth replacement. They consist of plastic or metal that are placed over your gums and attached using suction or an adhesive (some newer denture technology also utilizes snaps, magnets, or other means of attachment). Full dentures replace all the teeth in an arch—top, bottom, or both—while partial dentures connect to remaining natural teeth using wires or other materials.
Like bridges, dentures may offer a quicker alternative to tooth replacement than dental implants, but also have significant drawbacks:
- Removable dentures can be uncomfortable and may slip in the mouth.
- They do not prevent bone loss.
- They require a significant amount of maintenance and often ongoing adjustments as well.
- They are not as long-lasting as implants and typically require replacement every decade or so.
- Impair chewing ability and decreased taste
Temporary Alternatives To Replace Your Natural Teeth
In cases where a temporary solution is required for a missing tooth (usually as a stop-gap until a more permanent solution can be put in place), a flipper may function as a way to maintain your smile’s stability and aesthetics:
A dental flipper is essentially a temporary, cosmetic partial denture. Flippers are not in the same league as dental implants. They can be difficult to chew with and are not meant to be a long-term solution for missing teeth.
Is Doing Nothing a Viable Option?
Patients who are not experiencing severe discomfort as a result of missing teeth may wonder whether it’s really necessary to replace them at all. At Doctors Implants, we firmly believe that replacing missing teeth is critical to your overall health and future well-being for the following reasons:
- Missing teeth can negatively impact your speech, diet, and appearance.
- When your jawbone is no longer stimulated by chewing, bone loss occurs.
- Surrounding teeth may shift, become uneven, or experience increased wear and tear.
Contact Doctors Implants for a Free Consultation
Dental implants offer the most durable, comfortable, functional, and permanent solution for tooth replacement, which is why the team of exceptional Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons at Doctors Implants is committed to offering the 6 Hour Smile to each and every eligible patient.
To learn more about the 6 Hour Smile, contact Doctors Implants today to book your free consultation! We look forward to meeting you.