If you are facing a tooth loss it can be upsetting and is something that affects many people at some stage during their lifetime. But when it comes to replacing a missing tooth, which option is best and why, and how do you make this decision? The most popular options for replacing a tooth include dental implants or a fixed bridge.
Comparing the Costs of a Fixed Bridge to Dental Implants
On the face of it there would seem to be little comparison as a dental implant with an implant supported crown is likely to cost a bit more than a fixed bridge, but there are other factors to consider. According to the American Dental Association, a bridge will last an average of ten years before you need to think about replacing it. In comparison, clinical studies have shown a well-placed and cared for dental implant can last for twenty years or more. Even when dental insurance reimbursements are taken into account, a fixed bridge can still cost significantly more over twenty to twenty five years. Although implants may seem more expensive initially, if you can, think about taking a longer-term view and then of course there are the benefits to your dental health to consider.
Preventing Bone Loss – Additional Benefit of Choosing Dental Implants
While it is important to think about the cost effectiveness of treatment, particularly in the longer term, it is also a good idea to consider the additional benefits to oral health that can be gained when you choose dental implants. The major advantage is bone preservation. As soon as a tooth is removed the bone that used to surround the tooth root begins to be reabsorbed. This bone loss can affect the stability of the adjacent teeth and will eventually create gaps under fixed bridges that will look unsightly and which are excellent for trapping food. An implant post replicates a natural tooth root, preventing bone loss and helping to stabilize adjacent teeth.
Dental Implants Help Preserve the Adjacent Healthy Teeth
When you choose a dental implant, there will be no need for your dentist at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center to cut down the adjacent teeth to support the bridge. Often this means cutting into perfectly healthy teeth. Once these teeth are crowned for a dental bridge then they are likely to need more restorative work over the years and will be more susceptible to tooth decay and infection. In comparison, an implant tooth is self-supporting; it helps hold the adjacent teeth in position and will absorb some of the forces created during biting and chewing so teeth wear more evenly.
Implant Crown Is Easier to Look after than Fixed Bridge
An implant crown is very easy to look after as you will be able to brush it just as if it were your own tooth and you can floss all the way around it to keep your gums healthy and strong. Fixed bridge can be slightly trickier to clean around and you may need to use floss threaders or other special tools to get right underneath the false tooth that is filling the gap left behind by your natural tooth.
Last but Not Least
Lastly, implant crowns can look wonderful and will feel exactly like your own tooth. Nobody need know you have lost a tooth unless you choose to enlighten them.
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