If you've lost teeth or are going to get some teeth removed, then you might be (understandably) worried. What are your options? How much do they cost? To help you out, here is a comparison between the three main methods of replacing missing teeth: dentures, bridges, and implants.
You're probably pretty familiar with dentures. They come in two main varieties: full and partial. If you are missing all of the teeth in either you upper or lower jaw, you will need a full set of dentures. If you are only missing a few teeth that are adjacent to one another, you need partial dentures. This is generally going to be the cheapest option (thanks in no small part to insurance coverage), but that comes at a cost to comfort. With dentures, you need to remove and insert them on a daily basis and you are somewhat limited in your eating options.
Next you have bridges, which are useful when you are missing teeth in between two healthy teeth. This is because bridges exist as a system that is anchored at both ends to healthy teeth. Some bridges are removable, while others are permanently fixed in place. Like dentures, bridges are often covered by insurance, which means that the price remains relatively low. However, you can't really get bridges if your missing teeth don't lie between two healthy teeth. On top of that, bridges don't last quite as long as implants.
Finally, there are implants, the best choice for a long-term solution. An implant is an entirely synthetic tooth which is created by drilling into the bone beneath the gum, installing an artificial root, and then anchoring an artificial tooth to the root. Implants are extremely sturdy and will probably last a lifetime if properly maintained. This does come at a steep initial price which is exacerbated by the fact that insurance rarely covers implants.
So which choice is best?
If you are missing quite a few teeth, then implants will probably be prohibitively expensive. In these cases, bridges offer a good blend of longevity and cost effectiveness. If you are willing to sacrifice comfort for cash, then dentures can be a tempting option. Of course, if you are financially unable to consider bridges and implants, then dentures are better than nothing.
However, if you are only missing one or two teeth, implants will be the most cost efficient in the long run. Even though the price tag may seem large at first glance, your comfort and the benefit of never having to worry about your missing teeth again is worth it. For more information, contact dentists at local clinics like Kenai Dental Clinic.