When it comes to replacing a single tooth, dental implants are almost always your best option. There are many benefits that come along with dental implants. But at the end of the day, we understand cost is an important factor when you’re making this decision. To make the choice easier, we’re going to talk about single-tooth dental implant alternatives. We’ll also compare their cost, durability, and impact on your overall oral health.
Dental implant alternatives
For a single-tooth replacement, there aren’t a whole lot of options available. In these cases, dental implants and bridges are the best options. They both allow you to replace only one tooth without needing to extract any of the adjacent teeth.
Dental bridges are formed by attaching a fabricated tooth between the two healthy teeth that are adjacent to the missing or damaged tooth, filling in the gap. Bridges, however, won’t replace the missing root tissue. This means the bone beneath your new bridge will degenerate at a faster rate than if you had an implant.
Dental implants are the only procedure that maintains the strength of the bone tissue underneath your tooth. This process is called osseointegration, and it means that not only does the tooth look good on the top but more importantly everything is healthy underneath.
If you decide on a dental bridge now, it could be more difficult for you to get a single-tooth dental implant in the future because you’ll probably need a bone graft completed in the area where you had the bridge. Most dentists won’t recommend starting out with a bridge and getting an implant later as the procedure will cost more and take longer because of the additional bone graft.
Comparing single-tooth dental implants and dental bridges:
Overall, most dentists will agree that a dental implant is the best option for replacing a missing tooth. But when patients simply can’t afford the cost, out of single-tooth dental implant alternatives, bridges are the second best.
- Price: Dental implants are more expensive, but unlike dental bridges, implants won’t ever need to be replaced. If you do the math, implants win the comparison in the long run. Even though dental bridges are initially much cheaper than implants, they often need to be replaced every eight to fifteen years. Traditional bridges can range in price from $2,100 to $4,500. The cost largely depends on what material is used to create the bridge with stronger, longer-lasting materials costing more. Calculate the cost based on how long you hope to have your new dental appliance work. Don’t make the wrong decision just because the cost is higher today.
- Dental health: Dental implants are great for your dental health. That’s because the implant post (the part replacing your tooth root) stimulates bone growth in the jaw. With a dental bridge, however, there isn’t anything to replace your tooth root. We understand that cost matters, but all in all we think your long-term health matters even more.
What are the procedures like?
The procedure for getting a single-tooth dental implant can take months from start to finish, especially if you need bone grafting. That’s because your jaw will need time to heal between different phases of treatment. Because a dental bridge doesn’t require any surgery, you won’t need to wait for the jaw to heal before getting a tooth crown, and you could be finished in just a few appointments.
Because dental implants replace the root tissue of your tooth, you’ll need a sufficient amount of bone tissue in your jaw to support the implant. Patients who suffer from conditions such as osteoporosis aren’t always good candidates. Even if you don’t have a known condition, your dentist will still need to determine if your jaw is strong enough for the procedure. Most everyone is a good candidate for a bridge, although your dentist will check the health of the two teeth that will be holding up the new bridge.
Overall, most dentists will agree that an implant is the best option for replacing a missing tooth, but out of the single-tooth dental implant alternatives, a dental bridge serves as a good second best.
Single-Tooth Dental Implant Cost and Financing
The average cost of a single-tooth dental implant in the US is about $4,250, but keep in mind that this number isn’t a final quote. There are many things that could influence the cost of getting a dental implant including X-rays, CT scans, or bone grafts.
At Dr. Stone’s, we understand that your budget is a key component when making a decision like this. We do have options to pay your dental implant off over time with CareCredit, and recently insurance companies have become more open to helping pay for what is often the best course of action. Talk to us before you rule out implants. They may cost less than you originally imagined, and there may be options that you wouldn’t have considered before starting the conversation.
Whoever you go to should understand what an important decision this is for you, and they should offer you a free consultation. There’s a reason why you go on dates before you decide who you’re going to spend your life with. And hopefully you’ll be spending a very long time with the new dental work you’re having done.
At Dr. Stone’s practice, we offer complimentary consultations to new and prospective patients. We believe it’s important to sit across from the person who’s going to do the work. Dr. Stone has been practicing for over thirty years and would love to help you figure out what’s right for you. Schedule your appointment today.