While dental implants are great for restoring missing teeth, they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some patients may not want the oral surgery associated with implants or they may have a medical condition that will interfere with the healing that has to happen post-procedure. Our Hudsonville dentists understand this and offer other options to choose from. Here are a few of the dental implant alternatives we have available for patients who are wanting to replace teeth. Pros and “Cons” of Dental Implants There are so many benefits to choosing dental implants for yourself. However, there are also a few drawbacks that may lead some to consider other restorative options. One aspect viewed as a disadvantage is the time it takes to fully complete the process and get to the point where the crown is placed on top. The months in between when the implant is embedded in the jawbone and when the crown comes into play are of course dedicated to proper healing and bone growth. If this portion of the procedure is rushed, you risk implantation failure. Our dentists never want that to happen so to ensure your smile is restored in function and look, we wait until your mouth is ready. Other factors that may deter certain patients include: \tSufficient bone in the jaw is needed and a dental bone graft may be recommended if there isn’t. \tCost: Dental implants are more expensive compared to other procedures. \tOral surgery is required. On the other hand, you have the handful of advantages associated with dental implants. Those include: \tAn improved ability to eat and speak. \tNatural stimulation of the jawbone which prevents future bone loss. \tHighly durable and long-lasting materials used. \tNo adhesives required as they are permanent. Ultimately, our dentists want you to be satisfied with the appearance and health of your smile. If you’d like to learn more about dental implants, we’d be happy to help. If you’d instead like to pursue alternatives, that’s fine too! If You’re Not Sold on Implants, You Can Choose: 1) Full or Partial Dentures Both types of dentures differ from dental implants in a few ways. For one, they are removable whereas implants are surgically (and permanently) placed into your jaw. Because of this, dentures rest on top of the gums and do not require oral surgery aside from any tooth extractions that may be needed before placement. It is important to remember that if you choose this option, adjusting to wearing dentures does take some time. They can feel awkward or uncomfortable at first but with a little practice, you’ll be speaking and eating like normal. Depending on how many teeth you need replaced, a partial denture may suit you better. In general, partial dentures take less time to get used to. Our dentists offer full, partial, and immediate dentures. We’ll examine your mouth to confirm your candidacy and take impressions to ensure the produced dental appliance is custom fit to you. Once your dentures return from the lab, we’ll remove any temporary version and put them in place taking the time to double-check the color, shape, and size. 2) Dental Bridge Appropriately named, a dental bridge literally “bridges the gap” left by one or more missing teeth. It is a fixed, or permanent, solution that replaces lost teeth and gives you a beautifully natural smile. Traditional dental bridges consist of two or more crowns with a false tooth in between. The crowns are placed over anchoring teeth on either side of the gap, also known as “abutment teeth”. It’s a natural-looking restoration that works great, especially in instances where only one or two teeth are missing. Our dentists start by preparing the supporting teeth that will receive crowns. The teeth will be reshaped and recontoured before impressions of the teeth are taken. We’ll send these impressions to a lab where they’ll fabricate the bridge, crowns, and false tooth that will rest in between. A temporary bridge will be given in the meantime. Once all components are ready, we’ll remove the temporary bridge and place the permanent version. Your bite and the fit of the bridge will be checked before you leave. Make an Appointment Have missing teeth but not set on dental implants? Our dentists in Hudsonville, MI, can speak with you about either dentures or a dental bridge depending on how many teeth need replacing. Call Hudsonville Dental today at (616) 209-4024 to schedule an appointment and start the conversation about your smile.