- The implant is a stand-alone restoration and does not rely on the adjacent teeth for support
- A single implant behaves just like a tooth and can be easily flossed and brushed
- Implants are the most predictable and successful treatment available in dentistry
- Implants do not get cavities
- The bone and supporting form of an implant create the most "life-like" replacement of a lost tooth
- Implants are fixed and do no come in/out of the mouth
- Dr. Broughton in Puyallup, has performed hundreds of implant surgeries, which will save you about 50% of the cost versus having the surgery at a specialist's office.
- Start to finish cost for single tooth replacement is comparable to a bridge
The process to have an implant restoration is a multi-stage process taking place over several months. This can be a huge benefit to spread the cost over an extended period of time and through a couple years of dental insurance benefits, meaning less out of pocket costs for our patients. If the tooth still needs to be extracted, we highly recommend having a bone graft
placed at the time of extraction so that enough bone remains to support the dental implant. Infrequently, a sinus lift
may be required for implant placement in the upper jaw. The graft usually take 3-6 months to fully mature. At this time, the minor surgery to place the "root" form of the implant will take place. No crown or tooth will be built atop this platform until the body recognizes the implant as part of jawbone. After another 3-6 months, once the implant is integrated into the jawbone, we can then construct the dental crown using the connecting "abutment" piece. As soon as the crown is cemented, the implant can be used to chew and function as a normal tooth.
An implant cannot be placed if:
- There is not enough bone to support the implant
- There is not enough room between the gum tissue and opposing tooth to build a crown
Option #2: Dental bridgework
Dental bridges are used to replace on or more adjacent teeth in a single arch. They are constructed by preparing the teeth adjacent to the space to support a porcelain fused to gold restoration. Due to the fact that adjacent teeth support the pontic (fake tooth that replaces the missing tooth), the last tooth in the arch cannot be replaced by a bridge. We also can have restrictions if the adjacent teeth are not healthy or strong enough to support the forces of a bridge. Lastly, the teeth supporting the bridge are locked together, requiring a new flossing technique that is critical. We only recommend bridges in patients who will be diligent about cleaning properly around the bridge due to the fact that the decay rate on bridges tends to be higher.
Benefits of dental bridgework include:
- Quick turnaround: less than 2 months between extraction and final cementation of bridge
- Very predictable and esthetic
- Similar cost as a single dental implant
- Useful in situations where a dental implant cannot be placed
- More cost effective when replacing *more* than one missing tooth
- The bridge is fixed, and does not come in/out of the mouth
Option #3: Partial Denture(s)
Partial dentures are a very cost effective way to replace multiple teeth in an arch. In fact, if you are replacing 1 tooth or 10 teeth, the cost is the same. It is an appliance that comes in and out of the mouth made of a rigid metal base and acrylic plastic to support the teeth. Being a removable appliance, it has metal clasps that "hang on" to the existing teeth giving them a a solid foundation to reduce movement during speech and chewing. Typically, we do not recommend a partial for the replacement of one or two teeth because it isn't practice to have such a large appliance for such little improvement in function.
Benefits of partials include:
- Costs less than an implant or bridge
- If other teeth are compromised (weak or aggressive gum disease), it is inexpensive to add teeth to the partial denture in the future
- Partial dentures do not get cavities or gum disease
- The amount of jawbone is not critical for a partial denture, but it does help stability
- A partial denture can be planned out to be delivered on the day of extraction so a patient doesn't have to go without teeth (in some cases)