Patients looking to replace missing teeth are faced with a difficult decision. They must decide between two very similar prosthodontic treatment options. The choice must be made between fixed or removable implant-supported bridges.
Making the decision between these two prosthodontic treatment options is not easy. There are many factors to consider, such as previous bone loss, comfort levels, and budget. Each of these factors will influence your decision regarding which treatment option to seek.
If you are trying to decide between fixed or removable implant-supported bridges, the following guide will help you make a decision.
The Cost Involved with the Procedure
Most dental insurance companies will only cover a portion of the procedure, which means you are responsible for any remaining out-of-pocket expenses. Patients who are concerned with the cost involved often want the cheapest option, which is the removable bridge. Unfortunately, there are pros and cons to this option.
While removable bridges are the least expensive, they often come with a high maintenance cost. Over time, they will need to be remade and realigned to fit your mouth. This means it may be cheaper to have this procedure performed, but over time it will cost you more.
Fixed implant-supported bridges are more expensive, as the procedure is more complex. However, they can be considered a worthwhile investment. In most cases, fixed implant-supported bridges do not need to be fixed or replaced as often as a removable option. Depending on the design, once they are placed in the mouth, they have the potential of a life-long restoration.
Existing Bone Quality and Structure
Fixed implant supported bridges are preferred by many people because it allows them to keep the natural shape of their jaw, cheeks, and mouth. Unfortunately, some people do not have this option as bone loss is often the cause of missing teeth.
When bone loss is the cause of missing teeth, the best – and oftentimes the only – option available is a removable bridge. Removable bridges allow individuals to build up the shape and structure of the mouth/jaw by adding an enhanced structure that replaces the bone that was lost over time.
Close to a Natural Feel
Fixed and removable implant-support bridges perform the same function, but they do not feel the same. Patients with fixed implant-supported bridges often report that this prosthodontic treatment feels extremely natural. These patients report that this treatment not only feels natural, but it works just like natural teeth.
The other option, a removable bridge, does not feel like natural teeth. People who have had this type of procedure performed often report needing to have an adjustment period, as they needed time to get used to the feel of the bridges or dentures.
These are just some of the factors to consider. A local prosthodontist will be able to discuss other factors to consider and even provide a recommendation based off of your unique situation.
Schedule an appointment today with your local prosthodontist to discuss whether a fixed or removable implant-supported bridge is your best option.