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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