If you’re one of the nearly 180 million Americans missing one or more teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. When you’ve lost all of your teeth, it can be excruciating. Your dentist may recommend dentures, but it doesn’t resolve the insecurities. In fact, it could create more of them. Luckily, there are several denture alternatives to choose from for those who aren’t comfortable getting dentures.
Top Denture Alternatives
Different denture alternatives, such as overdentures, implants, and dental bridges, can help you regain confidence in speaking, eating, and smiling.
A tooth-supported overdenture is a cost-effective replacement for missing teeth. This treatment uses your existing healthy teeth to support a denture, preserving the bone levels in your jaw. Since this denture attaches to your existing teeth, it creates the appearance of talking and chewing with your natural teeth. However, to be a candidate for this type of denture, you must have a few healthy teeth supporting the overdenture.
Traditional Dental Implants
Implants are a single titanium unit surgically placed into the bone with a tooth-colored crown connected to the top. They blend in with your natural teeth and help you chew, talk, and smile. However, one requirement of traditional dental implants is sufficient healthy bone levels to improve the implant’s stability. Unfortunately, only some patients are candidates for this denture alternative.
Like any surgery, there are risks involved with dental implants. Those risks include the following:
- Nerve damage
- Implant failure
Smokers or those taking certain medications for osteoporosis may be at an increased risk for implant failure. Every patient requires a thorough medical examination to ensure they are a candidate for dental implants.
Once it’s determined that you are a candidate for implants, you must decide which type of system is best. You and your dentist can choose between four or six dental implants.
A four-implant system includes four posts spread across the arch to replace the missing teeth. A denture is made to connect with these implants, which helps maintain stability. A six-implant system includes six metal rods inserted into the bone to distribute the stress placed on the replacement teeth. Your bone levels and overall health will determine which implant system suits your needs.
The most cost-effective denture alternative may be a bridge when you’re only missing one tooth. This prosthetic tooth is held by a crown or implants on either side. The primary disadvantage to a dental bridge is that the natural, healthy tooth structure must be removed from the adjacent tooth to place the crowns.
Once the permanent bridge is placed, you won’t have to worry about slipping while eating or smiling.
Which Denture Alternatives Suit Your Needs?
Missing teeth shouldn’t make you lack confidence or hate your smile. Your dentist can discuss your options and answer your questions about denture alternatives. If you need a dentist, contact Scottsdale Dental and Facial Aesthetics to schedule your free consultation with our experienced team.