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Tooth Decay And The Shelf Life Of Various Replacements

by Andre Daniels

You might be overwhelmed deciding between all the different kinds of tooth replacement options. Depending on your case, you may have a lot of choices. However, not all tooth decay or replacement options are created equally, In fact, they may differ wildly in how long they last or how comfortable they are. Check out these different options and the pros and cons of each:


If you're missing one, or a few teeth, your dentist might recommend a bridge. A bridge is a tooth replacement that is attached to the surrounding teeth. This makes it a lot more stable and natural feeling than dentures, but does have a few downsides.

For one, implanting bridges requires your dentist to shape the surrounding teeth. The bridge itself relies entirely on the surrounding teeth for support. This could potentially damage your other teeth, hardly the solution you were looking for. Hygienically, bridges are also not the best option because you are no longer able to floss those teeth. This can allow for decay, gum disease, and plaque buildup to develop beneath the bridge. Another downside is that it's hard to say how long your dental bridge will last for. Estimates vary from 5-15 years.

Root Canal

Root canals do sometimes fail, but that's hardly the main problem. Not only can they be painful, but when you get a root canal, you're essentially killing your tooth. This means that your tooth will become brittle and likely to fracture. You may have to reinforce the tooth with a post and porcelain crown. Root canals are a costly and complicated procedure considering the pain and result.


Dentures are a less expensive solution to teeth decay and loss, but you get what you pay for. There are a lot of downsides to dentures. For one, when compared to bridges and dental implants, they look a lot less natural. They also feel unnatural when you eat and talk.

Dentures need to be replaced every 3-6 years, which is a cost you should consider. They aren't necessarily the most hygienic option, which could increase your risk for gum disease.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are generally regarded as the most reliable option for tooth replacement. Although they will require surgery, implants can last well over 20 years, making them a worthwhile investment. Unlike bridges and dentures, they won't weaken surrounding teeth and have a completely natural look and feel.