Dental Implant Alternatives
Individuals with tooth loss often turn to dental implants to restore appearance, function, and health. Sometimes patients may not qualify for implants, or they may wish to pursue other options. Fortunately, Dr. Andrew Mortensen offers a number of restorative solutions at our Fountain Valley, CA, practice. In this blog post, we explore reasons why implants may not be a viable option as well as popular dental implant alternatives.
Reasons Why Dental Implants May Not Be an Option
There are a few different reasons why implants may not be recommended. Here are some of the most common:
- You are too young for implants. Patients under the age of 18 may still have facial bones that are developing. Implants should only be placed once the jaw has stopped growing.
- There is not enough jawbone density to accommodate implants. Bone degradation is a common side effect of tooth loss. If you have too much bone loss, you may not qualify for implants. However, bone grafting procedures can be performed to improve your eligibility.
- You have uncontrolled diabetes. If the disease is under control, the risk of surgery is minimal. However, uncontrolled diabetes may indicate that you need to explore alternative treatment options.
- Oral surgery is a risk. There are other health conditions that can make dental implant surgery risky, such as severe heart disease, bone disease, or cancer.
- You want immediate results. Dental implant surgery often takes several months to complete. Some patients do not want to wait that long. In these instances, alternatives can be explored.
Fixed Dental Bridges
A fixed bridge is recommended when replacing one to three teeth in a row. The restoration is anchored by the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Once in place, artificial teeth span the gap to complete your smile.
Pros and Cons of Fixed Dental Bridges
To place a dental bridge, the neighboring teeth must be altered. This involves removing small amounts of enamel so the teeth can serve as anchors. Furthermore, bridges usually have to be replaced every five to 15 years.
However, advanced materials help your Fountain Valley dentist create bridges that are lifelike and beautiful. No one will ever know that you are missing teeth.
Significant tooth loss can be treated with removable dentures. These prostheses can be partial (replacing several teeth in sporadic locations) or full (replacing an entire dental arch).
Pros and Cons of Removable Dentures
Modern dentures help restore appearance and function. They are also one of the more affordable teeth replacement options.
Patients with dentures must remove and soak their appliances at night to keep them clean and bacteria-free. In most cases, dentures last an average of seven to 10 years before needing replacement. Because the supporting bone continues to change over time, dentures typically require relines every year or two to ensure a proper fit.
Contact Us for More Information
Tooth loss can be detrimental to your appearance, confidence, and oral health. Learn more about your replacement options at our Fountain Valley practice. Contact us online anytime or call us at (714) 964-4183.