Is there a such thing as affordable tooth replacement options?
Did you know that the typical adult aged 35 to 49 living in the United States is missing an average of 7 teeth? Even if we assume 4 of those teeth might be wisdom teeth, that still means that most adults in their prime are living without at least 3 teeth!
If the average adult is missing 7 teeth then there is a good chance that you, many of your friends, and many of the folks you work with have been in a position to decide what to do about tooth replacement.
Ultimately, the best possible oral and whole body health outcome is to replace each missing tooth with a dental implant. But let’s be realistic – single implants can be a heavy investment and out of reach for many folks in the short-term.
In a previous blog post, we discussed some of the stories we’ve heard people use to talk themselves out of dental implants. It’s not surprising that “I can’t afford dental implants” is near the top of the list. The cost often makes some folks who already have dentures give up hope, assuming they can never have dental implants because of the cost.
So that’s that?
If you’re worried you may not be able to afford all of the dental implants you may need right now, does that mean you can never come back and revisit that decision?
What if we told you that there is another way?
What if we told you there is a way you can achieve your goal of replacing your missing teeth over time by using other more affordable tooth replacement options?
Affordable Tooth Replacement Options: Combining Dental Implants with Prosthetics
You are not required to only choose one option when it comes to tooth replacement.
An excellent way to be able to replace your missing teeth over time is to combine the strength, durability, and versatility of a dental implant with the more immediately affordable and flexible options of dental bridges and dentures.
Option 1: Bridge or Partial Denture Over Implant(s)
This affordable tooth replacement option applies if you are missing two or more teeth next to each other. With this option, it is possible to place one or two implants to help serve as an anchor for a bridge or partial denture.
By doing this, you may not need to use healthy teeth to support a bridge, or your removable partial denture may not need clasps, as it connects directly to the dental implant.
Option 2: Overdentures – Full Dentures Over Implants
Another affordable tooth replacement option, overdentures, combines implants and dentures. A full denture arch can be attached to 4 (called all-on-4) or 6 dental implants.
With this option, the implants are usually placed two or more at a time. Many denture-wearers like this option because they can get the implants over time, and still wear their full denture while they are healing. Once all of the implants are in place, the denture will clip onto the implants using a special abutment.
With this tooth replacement option, your denture can be adjusted to look and fit more naturally. They can still be removed at night to be cleaned and maintained, but there is no more need for sticky goop to hold your dentures in place, or to worry that they may fall out.
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Over time, you can continue to have additional implants placed, and replace your denture with a bridge or even with single implants. The hybrid tooth replacement option combines the long-term benefits of dental implants – strength, durability, longevity, and natural fit/feel, with the more immediate affordability of bridges and dentures.
How do these more affordable tooth replacement options, like the implant-hybrid option, stack up when compared to the other most common tooth-replacement options:
- Single Dental Implants – often used to replace single missing teeth or replacing a front tooth
- Dental Bridges – another option to address individual missing teeth
- Full or Partial Dentures – frequently used to replace missing teeth that are next to each other
Check out our helpful comparison chart, which outlines all 4 options, using a common set of criteria, including immediate cost, aesthetics and how natural the look and feel, durability and strength, and more.