It’s no secret that dental implants, along with other teeth replacements, are expensive. It is one of the reasons why dentists are keen on saving the natural teeth of patients. Though it is the most advanced option for replacing teeth, there are still several cheaper alternatives to dental implants.
As a dentist in Uptown Charlotte, Genesis Family Dentistry aims to discuss some of the best options to replace your missing teeth instead of dental implants. But despite its cost, dental implants remain the best option for patients since it provides the closest look and feel of a natural tooth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw placed in the gums to replace the missing tooth root. It is capped with a dental crown to mimic the function of a natural tooth. It is an invasive treatment wherein the goal is to allow the bone cells to attach to the titanium post. It is a permanent dental appliance that provides the closest feel to a natural tooth.
How does it work?
When it comes to dental implants, there are several considerations before you become eligible for the procedure. Since the placement of the implant requires surgery, you must be in good health and have no conditions such as gum disease and diabetes.
There should also be enough bone structure that will support the titanium post. Sometimes, patients experience bone resorption or bone loss due to lack of stimulation from tooth roots. In these cases, your dentist may first recommend a bone graft procedure.
During the procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will take several x-rays of your teeth and jaws to create a treatment plan for your dental implant. On your next visit, your dentist will place the titanium post in your gums for the surrounding jaw bone. The gum tissues adapt to it and accept it as a replacement for your lost tooth roots.
You may need to visit once or twice a month to check the progress of your recovery. Once your gums are fully recovered, your dentist will place your dental crowns that match the color of your existing teeth. The maintenance and care for your new dental implant are the same as your natural teeth with the usual dental hygiene routine like daily brush and floss every day and visiting your dentist every 6 months.
Other alternatives to dental implants
The price of an average dental implant is usually around $3000 to $4500 and $6,000 for implant-supported dentures. The overall cost may change depending on the severity of the patient’s case and the price of the services on every step, like digital imaging costs and consultation fees.
On the other hand, full dentures cost between $600-$3,000 for mid-range and $4,000-$8,000 for the premium ones. The variables on the cost depend on the type of material you choose and the pricepoint of your dentist. Between dental implants and dentures, dentures cost approximately 20% less on average, which can translate to a $900 savings compared to dentures.
If you’re looking for more budget-friendly tooth-replacement options, you can count on your traditional dentures. Dental technology today has also enhanced the usual materials used for dentures. There are now flexible and metal partial dentures for a more stable and convenient experience. We categorized your options based on the number of your missing teeth.
One to multiple missing teeth
Patients with single or multiple missing teeth have an option between partial dentures and a fixed dental bridge. However, you must have a healthy set of adjacent teeth next to your missing tooth to be eligible for a fixed dental bridge. Learn more about the feature differences between these two dental appliances below:
Removable partial dentures (RPD) are removable dental appliances for replacing multiple missing teeth. It uses rests attached to the adjacent teeth to support a more convenient chewing function. Due to the advanced dental technology today, there are now several types of partial dentures made from different materials. These include:
- Flexible denture
- A metal removable partial denture
- Combination of the flexible and metal partial denture
Fixed dental bridge
A fixed dental bridge is a permanent tooth replacement solution for one or multiple missing teeth. The adjacent teeth or abutment teeth are covered with dental crowns to hold and support the tooth replacement. It is non-removable and has the closest resemblance to dental implants in terms of oral care and maintenance.
Full arch of missing teeth or no teeth
For full mouth restorations, the only alternative to implants today is the traditional dentures that you often see among the elderly. Implant-supported dentures are an advanced technique for keeping the prosthetic in place. However, since it still involves the placement of two or more dental implants, the cost would also be another concern.
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to dental implants, having a traditional denture won’t be a bad option. Here’s why:
Full dentures or traditional dentures
A full denture is a removable dental prosthetic that helps replace a full arch of missing teeth. It uses suction on the gums to remain in place. Patients can chew, bite, and speak better with the help of traditional dentures. However, since it is made of plastic, it can still break and may not provide the full strength in bite capacity that you can get from dental implants.
Learn more about your teeth replacement options at Genesis Family Dentistry
Deciding to replace your missing teeth is one thing, but finding the best material for your teeth replacement can take you to another crossroad. If you want to find a balance between the cost and the long-term comfort you’ll get from the dental appliance, you may consult the expertise of Dr. Alston.
Schedule an appointment here, so we can show you an actual sample of the prosthetics for tooth replacement in Uptown Charlotte and give some insights on which alternative to dental implants is best for you.