If you have lost more than one tooth due to an injury or decay, you will be faced with a few different options to fill the gap in your smile. The most popular of these choices are implant bridges and partial dentures, each meant to simulate multiple teeth through the use of one prosthesis. But while either an implant or dentures can restore your smile, you should be aware of the differences between them before you make a final decision.
Considering Upfront Costs Versus Long-Term Benefits
Probably one of the biggest considerations for any patient in need of extensive dental work is cost. Implants are undeniably more expensive than a standard denture, requiring minor surgery to install the post and then the manufacture of the implant restoration itself. Dentures also require custom fitting and design to rest against your gums comfortably, but the cost is usually significantly less. In exchange, however, implants typically last much longer and can be all but forgotten once installed, whereas dentures must be periodically replaced and cared for on a daily basis.
Comparing Comfort and Practicality
Implant bridges use one or more titanium posts integrated into your jawbone to hold the false teeth in place. This firm support means that your implants can essentially function like living teeth, without wobbling or slipping. Dentures occasionally have trouble adhering firmly to the gums, and they can chafe if they aren't fitted correctly. With partial dentures, it is possible to relieve this problem somewhat through the use of clasps to anchor them to your other teeth, but as a general rule, you are more likely to notice dentures more than implants when speaking or chewing.
Preserving Your Jawline and Remaining Teeth
Another benefit of implants, even those that only use one or two posts, is that they can help slow the deterioration of your jaws and gums after the loss of nearby teeth. The tissues in your jawbone and gums are fed by blood vessels primarily intended to keep your teeth healthy and nourished. When those teeth are gone, the blood vessels shrivel up and the surrounding tissue shrinks as a result. If you are still young and in need of false teeth, you may want to consider implants as a means of keeping your chin and jaw strong.
Consulting With Your Dentist and Insurer
Ultimately, your decision between a bridge implant or partial dentures will come down to a mix of cost and convenience. While implants are often the preferred option for patients, you may need to settle for dentures until you can invest in a more permanent solution. Check with your insurer to see if either option is covered under your plan, and speak to your dentist for a more in-depth examination and recommendation. Once your choice is made, you should be able to smile without embarrassment again in as little as a few weeks or months.
For more information, contact local professionals like Tijeras Dental Service.