I lost my upper left canine and premolar teeth five years ago and have been wearing a partial denture since then. Two weeks ago, I talked to my dentist about how uncomfortable the partial denture feels. She explained that I could get a dental bridge or implants, and she really pushed for implants. I cringe at the thought of being $6,000+ in debt for dental implants, so I need another perspective on my alternatives. Please assist. Thank you. Kaye
Thank you for contacting our office. Dr. Perry would need to perform an oral exam and take x-rays to determine your treatment options. Still, we understand your concerns. A smile is part of our facial expressions and personality, so we must weigh our options carefully when teeth are missing. Even if you cannot afford dental implants, getting natural-looking results is essential for your self-esteem and confidence.
What Are the Options If You Can’t Afford Dental Implants?
If you cannot afford dental implants, the options include a fixed or a removable prosthesis (artificial teeth).
Removable Replacement Teeth
Whether you are missing one or multiple missing teeth, a partial denture can replace them. If you already wear an uncomfortable partial denture, you can get a more comfortable new one from a skilled dentist. You can consult with a cosmetic dentist for a partial denture with these improvements:
- Better quality
- Sturdy, comfortable framework
- Natural-looking replacement teeth
Fixed Replacement Teeth
Fixed replacement teeth include a dental bridge and dental implants.
A dental bridge is a series of dental crowns connected at their sides. The end crowns fit over your natural teeth, and the crown(s) in the middle replaces the missing tooth or teeth.
- A dentist must shave down two natural teeth for the ends of the bridge to fit over them.
- Your jawbone will shrink wherever your teeth are missing.
- A well-made dental bridge can last five to ten years.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots with a crown attached to the top. You can get a dental implant for each missing tooth. A dental implant is the most expensive form of tooth replacement. Consider three features of dental implants:
- Your jawbone anchors your implants, not adjacent teeth.
- Dental implants stimulate the jawbone and prevent bone shrinkage.
- An implant screw can last 20 years or longer. You will only need to replace the dental crowns.
Your oral health and your budget influence the tooth replacement option you choose. We recommend scheduling at least two second-opinion appointments to discuss your options and how each dentist can make treatment affordable. If you cannot afford dental implants, speak with a cosmetic dentist about achieving the most natural-looking results possible with a partial denture or a dental bridge.
Dr. Ryan Perry, a Baton Rouge family dentist, sponsors this post.