Replacing your missing tooth: dental implant or fixed bridge?

The loss of a tooth can be heart breaking for a patient especially if the lost tooth is in the front of your mouth.  The good news is that tooth replacement can be a predictable dental procedure if handled properly before the tooth is lost.  Quite often, the choice for replacement essentially comes down to either a dental implant supported crown or a fixed bridge.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both treatments.  Most patient wants a fixed solution, that is, they do not want to remove any prosthesis from their mouth.

An implant supported crown essentially uses a titanium dental implant that is placed in the jaw bone.  The implant replaces the root of the lost tooth.   A post is placed on the implant and then a crown or cap is placed on the post.  The crown will match your existing teeth colour and form.  It will look and feel like a real tooth.  If maintained properly, an implant supported crown should last a very long time as it is not susceptible to cavities.  Some factors that may play a role in treatment success is the amount of jaw bone that is present for the implant, the presence of any gum disease in the mouth and a bite that is heavy in the area where the implant supported crown will reside.  However, all of these can be managed effectively with some auxiliary treatment.

A fixed bridge utilizes the adjacent teeth to support a false tooth.  Crowns are placed on the adjacent teeth and the false tooth is attached to the crowns.  A bridge can give the appearance of a natural tooth but at a greater cost of having to utilize other teeth in the treatment. Bridges can last a long time but most likely will need to be replaced eventually.  They are a more invasive treatment but can work well if done properly.

Ultimately, it is up to the patient to decide what is the appropriate treatment for themselves.  Dr. Vlahos has been providing dental implant treatment and fixed bridge treatment for over 14 years to the patients of St. Catharines and the Niagara region.  If you are interested in either treatment, please call the office at 905-937-4673 to schedule a complimentary consultation.  Dr. Vlahos will take the time to discuss your particular situation and give you some insight as to what will be best for you.  Together, you can come up with a treatment plan that is suitable for you.

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