If you’re missing a single tooth, you may be considering your options for a tooth replacement at Life Dentistry in Lafayette. But you may not be sure what’s right for you. Should you pick a dental implant? What about a dental bridge, or a partial denture? Which treatment is the best choice?
Dental implants use a two-part design. The implant itself is a small piece of titanium, which is implanted directly into your gum and jaw tissue. It heals and bonds with this tissue, and is locked permanently into place, functioning as an artificial root. Then, a dental crown is built that attaches directly to the implant, restoring your tooth.
They have a number of advantages. First, dental implants are the longest-lasting method of smile restoration, and last 30+ years in most cases. They also look and feel completely natural, and unlike dental bridges or partial dentures, they support the strength of your jaw bone and prevent bone resorption.
There are a few drawbacks, though. Implants take a long time (3-6 months or longer) to be built and placed. They’re also quite expensive, and rarely covered by insurance. The investment is worth it, but they do cost more up-front than bridges or dentures.
Dental bridges consist of two dental crowns, which are attached to healthy teeth. Between these crowns, a false tooth (pontic) is suspended to “bridge” the gap and replace your missing tooth.
If you choose bridges, you’ll be able to restore your tooth in just a few weeks, and you can avoid any serious dental surgery. Bridges are also more affordable than implants, and are typically covered (at least partially) by insurance.
However, bridges are harder to care for than dental implants. They also don’t last as long, and they require two of your healthy natural teeth to be trimmed, which may not be ideal for some patients.
Partial dentures are built using a metal and plastic framework, which holds one or more false teeth and clips onto your remaining healthy teeth, restoring your smile.
If you are on a budget, partial dentures are definitely the most inexpensive option, and they can be placed in just a few weeks, so you can restore your smile and eat, speak, and chew normally more quickly. They’re also covered by dental insurance, in most cases.
However, partial dentures have the shortest lifespan out of any restorative dental treatment, at just 5-7 years. They also may be more prone to shifting or moving, compared to implants and bridges. They also require specialized cleaning and care, and it takes more time to get used to wearing your denture.
Still Not Sure What’s Right For You? Find Out With An Appointment At Life Dentistry
If you’re replacing a missing tooth, it can be hard to know which restorative treatment may be right for you. But at Life Dentistry, Dr. James Martin can help you explore all of your options in detail, and determine the best tooth-replacement option based on your oral health, your preferences, and your budget. So don’t wait. Contact us now online or give us a call at (970) 289-5433 to schedule a consultation right away.