Dental (tooth) implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement. They offer a long-lasting, stable solution providing you with replacement teeth that look and feel like your natural teeth. Dental implants allow you to eat well, and talk and smile easily again. Implants also stimulate your jawbone, just like your natural tooth roots, which helps to prevent bone loss.
Dental implants are not cheap, and for some, the price is prohibitive. However, if you have major dental insurance, you can claim some money back. You also need adequate bone tissue for dental implants, and if you have been without teeth for many years, or have suffered particular health issues, you may not have enough bone. However, a bone graft or sinus lift can remedy this problem. The time required also needs to be considered. Dental implants require healing time for a process known as osseointegration to occur, which can take up to three months.
A fixed bridge is a good alternative if dental implants are not suitable.
A fixed bridge allows you to have a stable prosthetic device permanently attached to your teeth, allowing you to eat well while giving you the appearance of natural teeth.
A fixed bridge is also cheaper than dental implants.
It can be difficult for you to regularly clean under your fixed bridge.
A fixed bridge requires the adjacent teeth to be ground down, so the procedure is irreversible, and, over time, if the bridge is poorly fitted, it could damage these adjoining teeth. Additionally, plaque and bacteria could build up underneath the bridge, causing tooth decay or infection.
As a fixed bridge does not involve implants, there is no artificial tooth root to stimulate the bone tissue, so bone resorption (bone loss) could become a problem.
Removable dentures are not nearly as stable as a fixed bridge or dental implants. Some people find removable dentures uncomfortable and cannot eat enough of a variety of foods for healthy diet.