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Fixed Permanent Bridges vs. Dental Implant

Monday, October 10, 2011
Monmouth Country NJ patients in need of a tooth replacement often struggle deciding whether to have a fixed permanent bridge or a dental implant. A fixed permanent bridge requires the replacement tooth to have a permanent crown placed on the tooth on either side. Dental implants allow for a single prosthetic replacement tooth to be anchored to the jawbone by a titanium screw (dental implant). Here is a discussion of several points of consideration that should help you make the choice between the two.

Durability
If you care for them properly, dental implants can last for decades if not a lifetime, and they are a better choice for preserving the natural bone and teeth in the rest of the mouth. Bridges compromise the structure of the nearby teeth, which must have healthy tooth structure shaved down before the abutment crowns can be placed. Because the implant actually replaces the original tooth"s root, dental implants help to preserve the jawbone, which can erode when a conventional tooth-supported bridge is used as a tooth replacement.

Appearance
Because they prevent bone and gum loss, dental implants do more to preserve aesthetics over the long run. Implants also look just like natural teeth, so no one will suspect that they"re actually replacements. Also, gums are more likely to recede in the vicinity of a bridge than in the area of an implant, and this can have an unsightly affect on your smile.

Cost
The cost of a single dental implant tooth replacement is typically about the same or less than the cost of a tooth-supported fixed bridge. When multiple implants are involved, the costs may be somewhat higher than that of the fixed bridge. However, it"s also important to consider the long-term costs. If tooth decay occurs in either of the remaining teeth surrounding the bridge, which sometimes happens, the crown may need to be replaced, or a more extensive treatment, such as a root canal might be necessary to preserve the tooth structure.

It is critically important to recognize that with either option, you will get the best outcome when under the care of an experienced and credentialed specialist.
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