Dental Bridge vs Dental Implant (Part 1)

This blog post of dental bridge vs dental implant stems from today’s patient.

A 44 year-old man came in today wanting to place a replace a missing front tooth (tooth number 7). His permanent adult tooth #7 had not erupted after his primary tooth fell out.   Hence he had a missing front tooth since early childhood.

For the last 15 years, he had been using an old plastic appliance (something similar looking to a bleaching tray).   This had a fake acrylic tooth permanently inserted into the #7 position. All in all, this was a clever and inexpensive design that served its purpose for his needs, albeit at a minimal level.

As an adult and for the last five to seven years, he had always felt that the tooth appliance had not met his expectations aesthetically.  In addition, he complained about the functionality, having to remove the appliance during meals.

The Options

He was presented with two options for treatment: dental bridge or dental implant.  Both of these options could offer an aesthetically pleasing result and high degree of functionality.  Both options are permanent (not removable).   Therefore, if they are performed correctly with proper planning, preparation, care, and cosmetic considerations, they could go unnoticed to even the keenest eye.  They also can feel and function as natural teeth when chewing and biting.

Dental Bridge vs Dental Implant

Dental bridge and dental implant each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Most obvious? Dental implants do not require drilling of neighboring teeth.  For example,  adjacent teeth on each side need to beprepared for the bridge to fit over. Implants also allow for easier home care and hygiene.

Some of the disadvantages for a dental implant are higher cost, longer length of treatment time (about four to five months), and increased difficulty to achieve aesthetically pleasing results. Dental implants may also require the need for bone grafting (bone augmentation).  This can also cause an increase in cost and treatment time.


To be Continued…


Your friendly North Hollywood dentist


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