Ready to get those missing teeth (or tooth) fixed? There are options like a dental bridge, that will save that empty spot from becoming an easy target for various diseases, as well as help you gain confidence! Thanks to the fast-paced progress in dentistry, you can now choose from a variety of options. The question is what’s best for you? Your dentist will narrow it down to three options:
- Dental Bridge: A dental bridge is a set of porcelain teeth (called pontics) attached to the crowns adhered to the abutment teeth (the teeth on both sides of the gap).
- Dentures: Dentures are removable prosthetic teeth that can be attached to the gums and removed when required. You can get a partial denture or a complete set of dentures.
- Dental Implant: A dental implant involves drilling and fixing a metal screw into the gum bone. This served as an artificial root for the crown which is attached over it.
Here are some things to consider to help you make the best decision for you:
1. Number of Missing Teeth
If you are missing many teeth in a series or all of your teeth, it would be impractical to get implants for each of them. In such a case, dentures are your best pick. Another scenario can be if you are missing 3 – 4 teeth in a row. A dental bridge would most effectively serve the purpose here. A person with strong teeth and good bone support can be a candidate for getting bridges. However, if you have one or two teeth missing from different parts of your smile, you may fill the gap with an implant.
The cheapest option is getting dentures. A low-cost denture would cost you around $300 to $500 per denture. If you plan on getting a complete set of dentures (upper and lower), it would cost you no more than $1000. In comparison, a bridge with one pontic and two crowns would cost between $2,000 and $5,000, and the estimated cost of getting a single dental implant is $3,000 to $4,500. Dentures would be an obvious choice if you’re on a tight budget.
Implants are the closest to the natural teeth and offer the best experience. They cause no harm to natural teeth, gums or bone. On the other hand, dentures can cause mouth sores, bone loss, receding gums and alteration in the face frame. Embarrassing clicking noises, difficulty in eating and talking, and sliding are some common complaints of denture wearers. Dentures can break easily. Although bridges are a better option than dentures, they need regular maintenance to prevent gum diseases. The surface under the bridge needs to be cleaned daily.
If proper care is taken, dentures may last up to 7 years, after which a new set of dentures will be made for you. Similarly, a dental bridge needs to be replaced after 10 years. Implants offer a permanent solution and do not need replacement. Hence, implants may be the most expensive but the cost of replacement is zero. This makes them actually cheaper in the long-run.
Talk to your local Austin or Georgetown dentist about what the best option is for you, and they’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of each!