If you have a missing tooth, then chances are you need to know your tooth replacement options. Of course, many patients seek dental implants purely because they’re seen as the gold standard of missing tooth replacement. But before we dive into why implant-based restorations benefit many people, it’s important to know that there are other options available. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of them.

Do absolutely nothing!

When you have a missing tooth, it might be tempting to do absolutely nothing, especially when the gap isn’t visible in the smile line. However, having a tooth gap for any period of time can cause a whole host of other dental problems including:

  • Bone loss and
  • Drifting teeth.

These can lead to

In reality, doing nothing now, is only likely to cost you far more in the future.

A partial denture

One way a dentist might restore a full smile is to fit a partial denture. Unlike a dental implant which is permanently secured into the mouth, a ‘partial’ is a removable object, designed to be worn during the day. At night, it’s taken out for comfort and cleanliness. While partials do a job of restoring a smile aesthetically, they do have their disadvantages.

  • They can be prone to movement
  • Sometimes the supporting metal clasps can be visible and
  • They don’t halt the bone loss process

So while a partial denture is one of several tooth replacement options, there may be others that are better placed to serve your needs.

A conventional dental bridge

While a dental bridge is a more permanent fixture, it relies on the support of your healthy teeth adjacent to the gap. These teeth need to be reshaped to take the supporting framework. Ultimately, this can compromise them in later years. So, that leaves us with implants!

But how do dental implants work?

Like most other tooth replacement options, dental implants have the ability to fully restore a smile aesthetically. However, that’s where the similarities end! Unlike partial dentures or bridges, implants are anchored permanently into the jaw. As a result, they become a standalone fixture, meaning that they don’t rely on the support of any other teeth.

During a pain-free, surgical procedure, an implant (the titanium screw or rod) is fastened directly into the jaw bone.

Over a period of 2-3 months, the remaining bone tissue fuses with the titanium implant in a process known as osseointegration. This creates a super-solid foundation upon which to place an artificial crown (the tooth part). Once the lifelike crown is placed, what you have in effect is a new permanent tooth.

So how much do dental implants cost?

There’s no getting away from the fact that initially anyway, implant-based restorations are the most expensive form of tooth replacement. In Sydney for example, patients can expect to pay anywhere between $2000 and $6000 per tooth depending upon what needs to be done. So certainly, there are plenty of cheaper tooth replacement options available.

However, what you get for your money with an implant-based restoration is a hassle-free and lifelike missing tooth replacement. One that can last for several decades or more – provided that it’s looked after of course!

Moreover, you can expect to replace all other forms of tooth replacement at least once during that time and some, considerably more than that. So in the long-term, implant-based restorations do provide good value for money.

On the down side, any dental implants restoration requires some form of surgery. So, if you really can’t face surgery, then this might not be the option for you. What’s more, if you have limited bone mass, then you may need additional bone grafting. Naturally this can increase both the cost and time spend in the dental chair. In some cases the time taken from surgery to final fitting of the permanent crown can take up to 9 months, however each case is different.

Here at Dentistry on Solent however, we use the very latest computer guided implant techniques to:

  • Minimise surgery time – A typical implant placed this way takes around 15-20 minutes as the majority of the work is carried out during the planning stages.
  • Promote a speedier recovery – Laser keyhole surgery means no opening the gum and therefore no stiches
  • Deliver more accurate results – virtual surgery carried out in the planning stages takes much of the risk out of placing dental implants.

Why not come and talk to us about your tooth replacement options. We take the time to explain the processes to you including dental implants allowing you to make a fully informed dental decision. Call today to book a consultation on (02) 9158 6137 and let us help you to fully restore your gappy smile.

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