Today’s dental patient has two options for replacing a single lost tooth — an implant or a fixed bridge. See: Bridge | Dental Implants
While the implant, the latest of the two options, addresses some of the drawbacks of a fixed bridge, it has its own disadvantages. With guidance from your dentist, you should weigh these two options carefully. Meet our team.
It’s important to first know the details about each option. An implant is composed of a titanium post surgically anchored into the jawbone as a replacement for the tooth root.
A permanent artificial crown is later attached to this anchor to mimic the natural crown of the tooth (the portion visible above the gum line). Discover crowns.
A fixed bridge uses the teeth (referred to as abutments) on either side of the space resulting from a lost tooth; the “bridge” then spans the space between the two abutments.
The abutment teeth are prepared by removing the enamel and covering them with a set of crowns that span the open space. The middle crown over the empty space is referred to as a pontic which is connected to the abutment teeth.
So, what are each option’s advantages or disadvantages?
The fixed bridge has been a reliable treatment for years, satisfying both aesthetics and function. It costs less than a dental implant and takes less time to achieve the end result.
But the removal of enamel from the abutment teeth may reduce their full health and function. The risk of decay or gum disease around the bridge also increases. Find out about gum disease.
Finally, a fixed bridge may not last as long as an implant.
Implants are also reliable and aesthetically pleasing. Besides longevity they have other advantages over their counterpart. They are a stand-alone unit and do not require any use of the neighbouring teeth. They are not susceptible to decay and are resistant to gum disease. Check out other advantages.
However, they are more costly initially even though over the long term they have been found to be more cost effective.
There is also a waiting period between the installation of the titanium post and the placement of the permanent crown to allow tissue to heal and for the titanium post to permanently attach to the bone.
LOOKING AT ALL THE OPTIONS
Our Dentists offer some guidance when treatment planning to deal with missing anterior teeth and the importance of the incisal edge
Replacement of missing anterior teeth can be challenging at the best of times, especially after having considered all the factors that integrate into an end design that provides both aesthetic and functional advantages.
Treatment planning and advice given to patients should include all possible options available.
Will dental implants last a lifetime?
Once the implant has fused with your jawbone and tissues, the artificial titanium implant acts as an ordinary root.
The longevity of your implant depends on how you improve and maintain your oral health