I need to replace a tooth that can’t be saved. I’m trying to decide between a dental implant or a dental bridge. Can you give me a summary? My dentist is insisting on dental implants, but they are quite pricey.
First, your dentist can make recommendations but can’t insist you get one procedure over another. It’s your body. You get to decide what to do. Both dental implants and a dental bridge are decent procedures. I’ll give you a quick rundown of both of them and let you decide which fits your situation better.
This is considered the top of the line procedure. It replaces your tooth root with a prosthetic, usually made of titanium, though they are starting to make some with zirconia. Then a dental crown is placed on top.
This will function just like your natural tooth. You can eat what you want and brush and floss normally without any problems. It does require surgery. Fortunately, it only affects the area of the tooth which needs to be replaced.
A dental bridge is a little different. It’s a false tooth suspended between two dental crowns. It is permanent but not implanted; therefore, it doesn’t require surgery.
There is a downside. If one part of the bridge is damaged, the entire unit has to be redone. But if either of your adjacent teeth is in need of a crown anyway, then a bridge would make more sense. You’d be getting two procedures in one.
The key is having a dentist you trust. One who can advise you without you feeling pressured one way or the other. You’ll also want a dentist who is skilled and artistic when it comes to creating beautiful restorations. Both procedures require a crown and you’ll want it to look natural.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Warren Krutchick.