When the need for a replacement tooth arises, patients have a variety of options. There are a number of treatment considerations that will be of concern to patients, and it’s important to gather as much information as possible when deciding which path to pursue. If you’re leaning against dental implants solely for financial reasons, be sure to consider the long-term benefits (and potential cost savings) associated with this method before making your final choice.
The dental implant is more costly initially than other choices for a replacement tooth, such as a dental bridge, but this device will be significantly more stable and durable than alternatives. Because of the bond that forms between the bone and the implant, the surrounding jawbone is less likely to erode after tooth loss.
In comparison, the jawbone will atrophy when a replacement tooth does not include a rootlike structure like an implant. Over time, this process can lead to failure of the appliance, creating a need to replace it – at an additional cost to the patient.
Patients who work with an oral surgeon to get dental implants also limit the impact on the neighboring teeth. Implants stand alone, while a dental bridge requires crowns to be placed on adjoining teeth in order to support the prosthetic tooth. The process of placing crowns necessitates the removal of healthy enamel, which can weaken the tooth. If those surrounding teeth are damaged, then the patient may need to have the bridge replaced eventually, as well.
There are some patients who think they can save money by avoiding tooth replacement, but this can be a pound-foolish strategy. When a missing tooth is not replaced in a timely fashion, the surrounding teeth may shift to fill in the empty space, creating problems that can only be addressed by more extensive interventions at a later time.
Patients who invest in dental implants can reap the benefits for decades if they take good care of the devices. Contact Chicago’s premiere dental surgery clinic, ORA® Oral Surgery & Implant Studio, to learn more about this treatment option.