Although dental implants are an attractive and durable option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth, they are not the best option for every patient.

Good candidates for dental implants must have a sound dental foundation to support the implants. This includes having healthy gums and sufficient bone structure in which to anchor the replacement “root” for your implant. Some chronic illnesses may also prevent dental implants from being the right choice for replacing missing teeth.

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If your consultation and exam with Fairfax, Virginia, cosmetic dentist Dr. Pamela Marzban determines that dental implants are not the ideal option for you, there are alternatives. Aside from dental implants, the most common tooth-replacement choices are:

While you can choose not to replace your teeth, it is not recommended. If you have one or more missing teeth, remaining teeth will shift. This can lead to difficulty chewing, difficulty cleaning teeth, and makes you more likely to lose more teeth. So you want to replace your teeth. But which alternative is best for you depends on your situation.

Why You Might Choose Dentures

We usually talk about dental implants as being an alternative to dentures, since most people think they need dentures if they lose their teeth. However, in some situations, dentures might be the right choice. Dentures are removable replacement teeth. If you are replacing less than all the teeth in an arch (upper or lower), you will get a partial denture, which is held in place by your natural teeth. If you are replacing all teeth in an arch, you will get full dentures, which are held in place by suction with the gums.

The benefits of dentures are:

  • Low cost
  • No need for surgery

This means that people often choose dentures when they are looking for an inexpensive tooth replacement option. People also choose dentures to avoid dental implant surgery, although implant surgery is minor surgery, with little discomfort and low risk of complications.

If you choose dentures, you have to accept the limitations of dentures, namely that they make it hard to chew. It can also be hard to clean dentures, which can lead to increased risk of odors and stains.

FOY® Dentures are high-quality dentures designed to overcome some of the limitations of traditional dentures. They are more expensive, but they provide improved function and improved appearance compared to traditional dentures.

Why You Might Choose a Dental Bridge

Dental bridges are false teeth held in place by dental crowns. The crowns and false teeth look and function like your regular teeth without the possibility for slippage associated with dentures. This also allows you to eat and speak normally.

The benefits of dental bridges are:

  • Fully anchored teeth
  • Normal function
  • No need for surgery

Dental bridge work great in some situations. In fact, sometimes they are an even better choice than dental implants.

On the other hand, they do have limitations. Dental bridges increase the force of biting and chewing on your supporting teeth. This means that we don’t want to use them when they put the supporting teeth at risk. Dental bridges also require us to remove tooth enamel from the supporting teeth. We try to avoid removing enamel from healthy teeth. We might recommend against dental bridges in order to maintain the health of your natural teeth.

Which Is the Best Alternative for You?

Are you unsure which is the best choice for replacing your natural teeth? We can talk to you about your options and help you make an informed decision that will restore a beautiful, functional smile.

If you would like more information on dental implants or other options for replacing a missing tooth or teeth, please contact Fairfax, Virginia, cosmetic dentist Dr. Pamela Marzban to schedule your personal consultation. We welcome patients from the Burke, Fairfax and Fairfax Station, Virginia, and Washington DC areas. Call our office today at 703-323-8200.