Dental Implants or Bridgework – making the best choice

In the olden days, tooth implants would get susceptible to infection and would result in a botched operation. In current times, tooth replacements and implants have become very advanced. Most tooth replacements are now made using Titanium since it is extremely durable and does not corrode even under worse conditions. This ensures that the patient’s tooth implant will stay in place for the rest of his life without creating any issues.

tooth replacements

Another factor that would calm the nerves of a lot of people is that during the procedure of applying tooth replacements, local anesthesia is used to ensure that the patient does not undergo any type of discomfort and does not experience pain while he is on the table. The dentist would apply anesthesia only on those parts of the gum that are to be operated upon and the patient remains constant for the whole duration of the operation. Invented first in 1952, they are now the standard of care when it comes to dental care and prosthetic replacements in case of injury or decay of a tooth.

What are Dental Implants

Dental Implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed in the jaw bone. They are the shape of screws and automatically bond with the natural bone and become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called a crown. Modern dental implants have been used by dentists for over 30 years for dental surgeries and replacements in case of any issues. These implants do not shift or slip in the mouth while speaking or eating.

Implants are usually preferred by those who have sore spots in their gums or jawbone or can be just because of gagging. Although dental implants can go on for years without having to replace them, it is often advised by dentists to take great care of the implants by regular cleaning and flossing to ensure that you can take advantage of their benefits as long as you can. Dental implants usually cost more than other dental surgeries for tooth replacement or correction such as dentures or bridgework. There are two types of dental implants –

  • Endosteal Implants – These implants are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. Once the gum tissue around the implants has been completely healed, another surgery is required in order to connect a post to the implant. After that, an artificial tooth is attached to the post, either individually or grouped together in a denture.
  • Subperiosteal Implants – Instead of attaching the implants directly into the jawbone, it is attached right above the jawbone and just below the gum tissue. The implants consist of a metal frame that sits right above the jawbone. As the gums around the implants heal, they become fixed to the jawbone. Just like in Endosteal implants, the post that is later on attached to the implant protrudes through the gum, on which the crown is mounted.

What are Bridgeworks

If you lose a tooth due to cavities or any other external physical damage to the mouth, instead of going for a dental implant (which can be far costlier), patients can also choose to go through with a dental bridge. In case of a missing tooth, dentists close the gap with dental bridges. The bridge can be a false tooth (also called a pontic) that is held in place by abutment teeth on either side.

Although Pontics can be made using any material, even gold, the most preferred  material is usually porcelain since it aesthetically fits in with your other natural teeth. There are 4 different types of dental bridges that patients can consider for themselves.

  • Traditional – Such dental bridges consist only of a false tooth inserted between two natural teeth and fused together using abutment of the adjacent natural teeth.
  • Cantilever – In this case, the pontic that is used is only cemented to the abutment of one adjacent tooth instead of two.
  • Maryland – just like a traditional dental bridge, the pontic is cemented with both the adjacent teeth but instead of using dental crowns, Maryland bridge uses a framework of either metal or porcelain that is bonded to the back of the abutment teeth.
  • Implant-supported – As the name implies, these types of dental bridges rely on implants that are surgically placed in the jawbone in order to support the pontic.

Dental bridges cost less than a procedure for a dental implant and can last for almost 5 to 15 years if cared for properly with constant dental care and hygiene. Although dental bridges might cost less, it is important to note that dental implants are considered more of a permanent solution since they usually do not require any sort of replacement if cared for properly.

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