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So you lost your teeth and you are stuck wearing a denture. Now what are your options?
Well, if you are missing, say, all your upper or lower teeth, you basically have THREE options:
Option 1- An REMOVABLE acrylic denture that clicks into three to four dental implants
Option 2- A FIXED acrylic denture that is screwed permanently into four to six dental implants
Option 3- A FIXED Porcelain bridge that is screwed permanently into six to eight dental implants
Which option is best? That depends on:
A. Your budget (financial capability or limitations)
B. Your anatomical and physical constitution (how much bone you have left in your jaw)
C. How much time you are ready to spend in the dental chair
D. How ready and prepared you are emotionally and psychologically to move forward with one of the treatment options noted above
Let’s discuss each of the options above one by one.
Option 1-Removalbe acrylic denture
Advantages: Relatively inexpensive , needs 2 to 4 dental implants,quick to complete treatment, requires minimal bone, can eat most things like steak, corn on the cob, apples and bite into bagels
Disadvantages: Must be taken out daily to clean, needs a couple connection parts to be replaced every year (associated with some minimal cost), does have a little movement
Cost: $10,000 to $15,000
Time to completion: 3-4 months
Pain/Recovery: Minimal
Option 2- Fixed Acrylic denture
Advantages: Fixed so you never take it out; comfortable (never moves around in your mouth), very esthetic, requires 5-6 dental implants
Disadvantages: More expensive then the removable version, may take longer to complete treatment
Cost: $25,000 to $40,000 depending on whether you are treated by a General Dentist or Prosthodontist
Time to Completion: 5-6 months
Pain/Recovery: Minimal
Option 3-Fixed Porcelain Bridge
Advantages: VERY cosmetic, very strong, generally has the best long term prognosis and longevity of the three options-REMEMBER! YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!
Disadvantages: Most expensive of the three options, takes longer to complete treatment
Cost: $50,000 per jaw (so full mouth rehab with 8 dental implants in top jaw and 8 dental implant in lower jaw can cost over $100,000)
Time to completion: 5-6 months
Pain/Recovery: Minimal
So, these are your options. Remember NOT to shop around for best price. Meet as many surgeons as you need until you find the one you are MOST comfortable with and the one that has the best credentials. You can also ask to speak to previous patients who have had the treatment you are interested in and ask the patients any questions you may have until you are 100% comfortable to proceed. If you can’t afford to go ahead with any treatment right away, you are better off waiting and saving up rather then proceeding with an unqualified surgeon where you don’t feel right. Just wait, save and do it right the first time. There is an old saying “People who pay for quality only cry ONCE!. “

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