LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN IMPLANT AND A BRIDGE.
ALMONTE IMPLANTS CARLETTON PLACE
Despite all your efforts, there may come a time when you need to replace one or more of your teeth. Will you choose a bridge or an implant? Both of these options have a long-standing and reliable history for tooth replacement, but one is far more superior than the other.
WHAT IS AN IMPLANT?
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An implant is an “anchor” that is surgically inserted into the bone and serves as a stable base for a replacement artificial tooth.
Having an implant is a multi-stage process that takes place in the dentist’s office. Each step is quick and relatively simple. The entire process from start to finish can take several months to complete, depending on the length of the necessary waiting period between each step.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF IMPLANTS?
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They do not affect the other teeth: An implant is the most ideal and effective way to replace an individual tooth, as the adjacent teeth are not touched or affected.
Longevity: Implants can last a lifetime, as the implant’s metal root, which is made of pure, high-grade titanium, naturally fuses with the jaw.
Avoiding bone loss: If a tooth is missing, bone loss in that region can accelerate. The implant replaces the root of the tooth and helps preserve the integrity of the jaw.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF IMPLANTS?
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There are simply no true clinical disadvantages to implants! The following are some considerations:
Requires surgery: Because the implant is inserted into the jaw, it is a surgical procedure. Nevertheless, it is a pain-free process during and after.
Time: After the implant is placed, bone will develop around it. The placement of the implant takes 30 minutes but the bone development usually takes three to six months. In the second step, a post is placed and the surrounding gum tissue must heal, which takes a couple of weeks. Regardless, healing time and recovery are very quick.
Cost: Not all dental plans cover implants, so out of pocket costs can be higher than other treatments. The silver lining is that it is usually a one-time investment; if implants are well-maintained they can last a lifetime. This is why they are the single best option in tooth replacement!
WHAT IS A BRIDGE?
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There are several types of bridges. The traditional bridge consists of two crowns on either side of an artificial tooth replacing the missing tooth. Crowns and the artificial tooth can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of materials. All are assembled in a laboratory as one piece.
The dentist files down the teeth on each side of the artificial tooth so that crowns can be placed on them. Finally, the dentist applies cement to adhere the bridge to the mouth.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A BRIDGE?
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You don’t have to take it off: Similar to an implant, a bridge does not need to be removed to clean; it is cemented to the adjacent teeth. You can clean the bridge when you brush your other teeth.
It is a faster process: The placement of the bridge can typically be carried out in two visits with the dentist.
It has a faster adaptation period: Similar to implants, a bridge will take less time to get used to compared to other prosthetic options such as partial dentures.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF A BRIDGE?
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It is more difficult to brush and floss: With a bridge, you need to brush and floss underneath the false tooth. You will probably need to use slightly different materials such as dental floss threaders that you may not be used to. An implant on the other hand will feel like your own natural tooth as it is not connected to the adjacent teeth.
A shorter shelf life: A dental bridge usually lasts about 10-20 years due to the wear of the adjacent teeth, which are susceptible to gum disease and cavities. (Your cavities result in less support for the bridge.) Implants typically last a lifetime, with little maintenance needed other than regular hygiene.
It affects the surrounding teeth: A bridge needs the support offered by the adjacent teeth that are used to hold the false tooth in place. If these teeth are not strong enough to fit the crowns, then the bridge will not be possible. So both adjacent teeth need to be filed or shaved down into stumps in order to support the new prosthetic.
It can lead to root canals: The process of prepping a bridge, which involves the filing down of the teeth on either side of the space, can commonly lead to hypersensitivity and the need for root canals to be performed on both stump teeth. With implants, both adjacent teeth on either side of the missing tooth are left untouched.
SHOULD OTHER THINGS BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT?
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A bridge is almost never a better option than implants, even if your tooth has been missing for a long time. Sometimes the gum and bone have receded and the jaw may not be able to properly support the implant. If you do not have enough healthy bone to place the implant, do not worry as you will be able to have a bone graft so that the jaw can support the implant. Please note that this procedure will require a little more time and additional cost. But this is well worth it compared to the trauma exerted on teeth in the bridge process.
WHAT IS THE COST DIFFERENCE?
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A bridge is generally the same cost as an implant when you factor in likely root canals, but even more expensive when you include maintenance and replacement costs. As with any other major procedure, you are entitled to know what your dental plan covers, as many plans cover a bridge but not an implant. This is due to insurance companies’ archaic mindset when it comes to the best treatment options.
See you next time!
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Marchwood Dental Clinic specializes in implants and aesthetic treatments, focusing on the oral and dental health of patients in Carleton Place, Almonte, Carp and all of West Ottawa. We offer many treatment options and alternatives with cutting-edge technology to guarantee the quality of our service.
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