The sticker price of dental implants can be a speed bump for many people in the market for treatments to replace missing teeth. It’s important to remember, however, that replacing teeth is an investment in your oral health and overall wellness.
If you’re weighing the cost benefits of an implant, compared to a fixed bridge, or denture, consider the following:
Repair and Maintenance
Just about any dental appliance will need maintenance over its lifetime. With a dental implant, there are essentially three pieces – the implant post, abutment, and dental crown. But typically speaking, only the dental crown would need to be repaired or replaced over its lifetime. With a fixed bridge, which uses two dental crowns and a pontic that are bonded together, if one part of the restoration breaks – the whole thing needs to be remade and replaced. That’s getting a whole new bridge every few years, or in the event of an accident.
Effect on Neighboring Teeth or Oral Structures
An implant is an independent replacement for a tooth – consider it like getting a whole new tooth, roots and all. Your natural teeth don’t rest on any of your other teeth for support, so an implant doesn’t either. But a bridge or a denture would rest on, and affect, your gums and your existing teeth. In fact, getting a bridge involves buffing down healthy tooth enamel, so that the crowns can be used to support your new tooth. This creates an environment where additional treatments may be needed to care for teeth and soft tissue that have been changed as a result of a replacing a tooth.
Overall Oral Health
When a tooth is lost, whether it is through an accident, gum disease, or neglect, that portion of the jaw begins to weaken. Your body is an efficient allocator of resources and if it detects that a tooth no longer needs to be supported, it stops supplying that area with nutrients. Excessive mineral loss may lead to a change in your facial appearance. By stimulating bone in your jaw, your dental implant is capable of helping to prevent a negative change to bone quality, which would require additional treatment to correct, such as bone grafts and sinus lifts.
While an implant may be a more costly treatment up-front, the payback for your health, peace of mind, and future dental care is significant. If you have any questions about dental implants, please get in contact with our College Station implant dentists for more information.