Replacing a missing tooth is simple and cost-effective when using a dental implant. In the case of a single tooth implant, a dental implant is placed in the area of the missing tooth. The dental implant is allowed to heal for a period of 2-4 months, during which the surrounding bone structure heals and grows in tightly around the dental implant surface. Once healing has occurred, your cosmetic dentist will work with Dr. Weinstein to construct the dental implant crown (the cosmetic attachment which looks like a natural tooth) Watch Now: .
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A traditional 3-unit bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth, but there are several factors to consider when reviewing this option. Weighing the facts about a dental implant vs. a bridge is an important consideration when faced with a missing tooth.
A dental bridge requires the grinding down of the two adjacent teeth on either side of the missing tooth. An impression is taken and a "bridge" is constructed. The bridge design is essentially a crown on each adjacent tooth with a false tooth or "bridge" in the center. A bridge can be an acceptable solution for a patient who already has or needs crowns on the adjacent natural teeth. Because the bridge sits above the gum tissue, it can collect food and debris. Keeping this area clean and healthy can be a challenge for some patients. In addition, the underlying bone will begin to recede over time, creating a divot, or a well, under the false tooth which can be visible. Because a bridge can be a food trap, and because the adjacent natural teeth have crowns on them, it is possible for the natural teeth to decay beneath the bridge itself. If this occurs, the bridge will fail and the natural teeth anchoring the bridge could also be lost. The prognosis for the longevity of a dental bridge is 5-15 years.
A single tooth implant does not require the grinding down and crowning of the adjacent natural teeth. The single tooth implant is placed in the area of the missing tooth and essentially replaces the natural tooth root. A crown is constructed upon the dental implant, and no other teeth are affected. The bone in the area of the missing tooth is preserved and does not recede. This is especially important if the missing tooth is located in the "aesthetic zone", or smile line. The single tooth implant functions the same as a natural tooth and does not decay. The prognosis for longevity of a single tooth implant is 97% over 48 years.
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When it comes to comparing a dental implant vs bridge, you be the judge. Learn how Dr. Weinstein has made single tooth implants about as affordable as a dental bridge.