How to Decide?
Answer the following questions:
- Are you okay paying extra to receive the best treatment?
- Can you afford the dental implants comfortably? Either cash upfront, financed or over several payments.
- Are the teeth next to the missing tooth virgin teeth, meaning they don’t have a filling or crown on them? Or maybe a small filling at most.
- You don’t need crowns on the teeth next to the missing gap? “no” means you do need crowns on several teeth, including the ones that are adjacent to the missing tooth, which can happen during a bad accident.
- You don’t have any medical problems that prohibits you from getting a surgery? Like a recent heart attack or if you are on a blood thinner.
- Have you had problems with pain and infection with crowns and bridges in the past? Like ending up with a root canal after a crown or ending up losing a tooth that received a crown or root canal soon after you got the treatment completed.
- You are less than 40 years old?
If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then you probably should favor getting dental implants over bridges.
If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then maybe a bridge is more suitable for you after all.
The main reason we prefer a dental implant over a bridge is because dental implants do not compromise the health of other teeth. In order to receive a dental bridge there are two teeth, at a minimum, which have to be shaven down to attach the bridge onto. These teeth become susceptible to further problems and may require root canals or even extraction should they fail. You may start off with a dental bridge to replace a single missing tooth but as the supporting teeth are damaged over time you now require a longer span bridge and must extend it. And over the decades you may find yourself losing all of your teeth in that side of the mouth having started off with just a single missing tooth and a dental bridge which failed and lead to the loss of numerous other teeth.
f you are instructed by your physician to avoid surgical procedures then you can not receive a dental implant and a dental bridge might be your only option at this time. Uncontrolled diabetes, radiation therapy to the jaws, heavy smoking, aggressive bone diseases affecting your jaws, or a recent heart attack are just some conditions which may compromise the success rate dental implants. There are also be dental conditions which adversely affect placement of dental implants for instance you may not have enough bone left in place for the placement of the implant. As a result you might not be able to receive dental implants without additional surgeries to establish sufficient bone to the region or your bone may be so weak that your dentist would advise against it altogether. You might just be better off going with the dental bridge in these circumstances or you may need to seek a second opinion to see if there is some way that bone can be restored to the region.