Dental Implants or Bridge Work- Making the Best Choice
When you need to replace a missing tooth, there are two general alternatives to consider: You can choose traditional bridgework, or select the newer option of dental implants. Both offer a solution that’s reliable, functional, and esthetically pleasing. However, there are a few important differences between the two systems.
A fixed bridge is a dental restoration that’s held in place by attachment to the adjacent natural teeth, which are referred to as abutments. The tooth-replacement section — called a “pontic” (after the French word for bridge) — spans the gap. Pontics require attachment to the abutments by either a metal frame, or today, a space age porcelain, to bridge the space from abutment to abutment. The system works well, but there’s a catch: Even a single-tooth replacement requires a three-unit bridge — and healthy adjacent teeth must be “prepared” by removing their enamel, which increases the risk for root canals.
By contrast, a dental implant can be a single-tooth replacement system, with no effect on healthy adjacent teeth. It involves placing a titanium metal implant directly into the living bone of the jaw, in a minor surgical procedure. After a short time, the bone and the implant fuse, and a crown restoration is placed on top to complete the prosthetic tooth system. Dental implants don’t decay, and they’re less likely to lead to gum disease than a natural tooth bridge. They also last longer, potentially offering far greater value.
The Palm Beach Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants providing quality care to Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and Palm Beach County. 561.900.9080 www.PasqualOMS.com