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Dental Implants vs. Other Options

Exploring the Differences between Dental Implants vs. Fixed Bridges and Dentures

There are several key differences between dental implants vs. fixed bridges and dentures. Whether you're concerned about dentistry for yourself or a loved one, it's important to get the proper care for both of these procedures to ensure a successful experience.

Dental Implant Features

A dental implant essentially recreates a tooth that is missing, incorporating all the strength and durability of a natural tooth. A titanium implant acts as a base that sits in the bone pocket, also known as the alveolus. The titanium and bone eventually fuse together, forming a bond over time, similar to how the original tooth and jaw bone bond. As opposed to other types of tooth replacement, the dental implant guards against bone loss, plus it has the added assurance of a crown that mimics the tooth's enamel. This dental implant many times acts even better than the original tooth, providing a strong alternative that is long-lasting. This option is often ideal for those who have lost a tooth due to injury or periodontal disease. There are two types of dental implants: endosteal, which go in the bone, and subperiosteal which go on the bone. Endosteal is the most common type.

Highlights of Fixed Bridges

Fixed bridges are non-removable prosthetics that attach to the natural teeth that remain. The bridge does just what its name proclaims -- it "bridges" the space between the natural teeth. This is an easy way to present an appealing set of teeth; however, they're not fool proof. The natural teeth must be filed for the best fit to the appliance. As such, they're susceptible to accumulations of plaque, as well as decay and periodontal disease -- all of which can lead to root canals in the future.

Details of Dentures

A denture is different from the other two options in that it is removable. The two types of dentures are complete and partial. Complete dentures are necessary when all of the natural teeth are missing. Partial dentures are necessary when some natural teeth are still intact. This removable replacement can replicate the look of natural teeth and gums. You can also opt for permanent dentures, but this is entirely up to your style, preference and comfort.

Which to Choose?

The type of dental device you choose to go with depends highly on your individual needs, your budget, your aesthetic requirements, your health, whether you have periodontal disease or not, your age and your willingness to undergo certain procedures. Your insurance will most likely pay for some or all of the above dental devices but it is likely you may incur some out of pocket expenses. Meeting with your dentist for an evaluation is key. He or she can recommend the best course of action for you after checking your teeth and making an assessment. Overall, implants may on the surface seem the most costly but they are often the most comfortable, long-lasting, cost effective and most natural looking long-term option. To see if you are a candidate for dental implants, or if fixed bridges and dentures are better for you, consult with your dentist.

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