Those little gaps left behind when you lose teeth are more than just an inconvenience, they can create oral health problems and impact your overall health. Fortunately, Paul L. Caputo, DDS has many amazing options to help you get back on track to a functional and healthy smile. If you would like to learn more about your tooth replacement options, we recommend that you review this comparison of the three most popular options and decide which one seems best for your own goals, needs, and budget.
Patients often choose bridges to replace one or more missing teeth by attaching to surrounding teeth. When they choose this option, the adjacent teeth are filed down to provide adequate space for the replacement teeth. After the procedure, patients can smile, chew, and speak normally again.
Many of our patients pick bridges because they are more cost effective than getting dental implants, no surgery is required, and the procedure can be completed a few days as opposed to the 3 to 6 months required for dental implants. Additionally, parts of your bridge can be replaced quickly and without any oral surgery.
One of the biggest drawbacks for bridges is that once natural teeth have been ground down for anchors to the bridge piece, they will never be the same. This means that the structure of the tooth is compromised and the patient will be at an increased risk for tooth decay or root canal treatment. Additionally, expensive cleaners and products may be necessary to clean around the bridge. Replacement is usually needed every 5 to 10 years.
When patients are missing multiple teeth and are looking for a less-expensive option, they often select dentures. This tooth replacement option usually consists of one or more teeth anchored in a base of specially-made plastic that matches your gum color.
For patients on a limited budget, dentures are a good option at a reasonable price. They can also get a custom set made in a few weeks. This allows patients to restore bite function without oral surgery or altering real teeth with a bridge.
When compared to the other tooth replacement options, removable dentures are probably the least comfortable option. Patients often say that dentures look much less natural than bridges or dental implants. Dentures do not halt the process of deterioration that can occur in the jawbone when teeth are missing. This can ultimately result in sunken facial features and loss of jaw muscle tone. Additionally, patients sometimes have trouble speaking clearly and enjoying their favorite foods. Replacement is usually required every ten years.
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are permanently attached to the jawbone via a small titanium root called a fixture. Once it is healed, a natural-looking prosthetic tooth will be attached and the patient will have a fully functioning and attractive new tooth.
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they are a permanent tooth replacement option that looks, feels, and functions just like a real tooth. They require no extra maintenance and can be cared for just as you would your real teeth. Additionally, this amazing tooth replacement treatment is the only one that can reduce or stop the jawbone deterioration that typically occurs when patients lose teeth.
One of the drawbacks for dental implants is that they are rarely covered by dental insurance plans. The process can also be much longer compared to the ease of other options that are done in just weeks. Supplementary procedures like bone grafts and tissue augmentation may be required for some patients.
There is no time like the present to get started on an amazing smile transformation. Here at Paul L. Caputo, DDS, we love helping our patients restore their smiles with natural-looking and functional dental implants. With decades of training and experience, our staff is ready to serve the Palm Harbor, FL area with exceptional services and superior products. If you would like to know more about dental implants, please give us a call for more information or review the rest of our infosite.
Dr. Paul L. Caputo
3490 East Lake Rd. Suite A
Palm Harbor, FL 34685
Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM