Reframing your perspective
What are your options for tooth replacement?
The first option, you can leave it as is
However, leaving a missing tooth often leads to other issues down the line. In many cases, the teeth start to shift. Shifting teeth lead to alignment issues and uneven chewing. Eventually, the alignment issues caused by a missing tooth might also lead to TMJ issues. Not only that, but a missing tooth can also lead to gum problems and cavities.
So, doing nothing may seem like the least expensive option, but it will likely cost you a lot more down the line.
You can opt for a removable appliance
The next option for a missing tooth is to get a removable appliance. Removable dental appliances for missing teeth refer to options like removable partial dentures and flippers.
A flipper is typically a removable retainer that sits on the roof of your mouth or on your lower jaw, and it can have one or multiple teeth attached to it. A flipper can give you the appearance of a full smile. However, flippers usually serve as a temporary solution rather than a long-term fix for a missing tooth.
There are also partial dentures, which are different from flippers. They do have a similar form factor, but the style and construction are different. Flippers are made with less acrylic material and aren't as sturdy. A partial denture is a good option for those who can't do a tooth-supported bridge, which is the next best option.
Another option for missing teeth is tooth-supported bridges. Bridges serve as a good alternative to an implant. The bridge will solve the problem of a missing tooth, which prevents problems associated with missing teeth.
Bridges serve as a fixed restoration method, meaning they aren't removable. A bridge serves both as a cosmetic fix and also improves chewing and bite strength.
However, there are some drawbacks. While a bridge does solve the problem of a missing tooth, it requires support from the two neighboring teeth. A bridge will compromise the quality of healthy neighboring teeth. Also, bridges typically need to be replaced every 8-10 years. So, you will likely need to replace a bridge three times over the course of 30 years, which could run you up to around $20,000. Implants, however, may cost you more upfront but will last you about 30 years and would cost less than replacing a bridge multiple times.
A dental implant is an artificial root placed permanently in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.
Dental implants anchor back into the bone, just like natural teeth. What makes dental implants so great is they put the force back on the bone. This takes the pressure off the adjacent teeth and/or gums. When older methods are used, the neighboring teeth become overloaded and don’t last as long.
By having the bone support the area with synthetic roots, the neighboring teeth last longer, which prevents future bone loss.
As far as cost goes, implants are typically the most expensive tooth-replacement method upfront. Just keep in mind the effectiveness and longevity.
"Within weeks of having the implants and the surgery, I was able to laugh...I didn't feel like I had to cover my mouth when I was speaking"
"How much are dental implants?"
Of course, a majority of people would likely opt for a dental implant for tooth replacements. But the question of cost holds many people back. "Well, I don't know if I can afford that. How much are dental implants?"
In Butte County, the typical cost for a dental implant ranges from $5,000 to $7,000 per tooth. This cost includes all stages of the dental implant process, from the synthetic root to the crown.
However, the cost of dental implants truly depends on the individual's situation. Sometimes, there's work that needs to be done before an implant is placed, such as bone grafting. If other work needs to be done before the placement of an implant, the overall cost will be higher.
Again, the most important thing to consider when it comes to the cost of implants is the effectiveness and longevity compared to other tooth-replacement methods. Dental implants provide the best quality of life and are most like a real tooth.
Other tooth-replacement methods, such as bridges and dentures, often require more frequent replacement. Typically, dentures need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years and bridges about 8-10 years. Because they need to be replaced, it ends up costing more money in the long run than dental implants.
Dental implants have a much longer lifespan. The implant typically lasts 30 years, so long as the individual maintains a healthy and consistent oral hygiene routine. If not, there are some risks for implant failure. Dental hygiene is essential in improving the life and longevity of an implant.
This is why we encourage everyone to see dental implants as an investment, rather than an expense. You are making an investment in your teeth, which will yield a better quality of life.
How you can finance your investment
If you are interested in dental implants but have concerns about the cost and financing, Kremer Dental Care offers financing through VIP Health. VIP Health offers membership plans as well as financing options, which can help you make the investment in your teeth today.
VIP Health offers a monthly membership at $29, which includes:
- 2 dental cleanings per year
- 2 dental exams per year
- All necessary x-rays
- Oral cancer exams
- Oral health instructions
- 20% off emergency exams
- 20% off most services (Including implants, up to $5,000)
VIP Health also offers long-term, low-interest financing, allowing you to pay off your investment over an extended period of time.
A better quality of life
When it comes down to it, dental implants truly provide the best quality of life for those needing tooth replacement. Implants are the highest quality, most tooth-like option and will yield the best results.
Here are some reasons why:
- They function better than other methods - you can eat any of the foods you want without the worry of slippage, unlike removable tooth-replacement methods
- They look and feel the most natural
- They are the healthiest option for the health of the mouth and other teeth
- They are stronger than natural teeth
So, if you're considering dental implants, just remember to think of them as an investment in yourself and your smile.