Replacing missing teeth with dental implants vs. bridgework

Dental implants - hailed decades ago as a cutting-edge technological breakthrough - are recognized today as the preferred option for replacing missing teeth. According to the ADA, an estimated 5 million[1] dental implants are placed each year in the U.S. alone.

Dental implant recipient Marcia chose to replace a single tooth with a dental implant. Marcia enjoys playing sports and lost her front tooth after being hit in the face with a cricket bat.

Marcia could have chosen fixed bridgework to replace her missing tooth, but she opted for a more permanent solution and chose a dental implant.

“When I saw my new smile for the first time, I was speechless and it felt like the last four years without my tooth didn’t even happen,” said Marcia. Replacing a single missing tooth with a dental implant offers many advantages over the option of fixed bridgework.

Dental implants are superior long-term solutions over bridgework and partial dentures

Marcia with her dental implant and new smile

Marcia with her dental implant and new smile

Marcia's dentist explained to her that fixed bridgework presents problems for healthy natural teeth. This problem occurs because bridgework requires being attached to natural teeth to support the bridge and cover the missing tooth space. This process weakens natural teeth and contributes to their becoming susceptible to decay.

A removable partial denture also requires existing natural teeth to be hooked onto. This added stress may cause the healthy anchor teeth to become loose over time and ultimately decay and fail.

Kristie is another dental implant patient who first experienced failed bridgework. In Kristie’s case, she needed two permanent teeth in the front area of her mouth where natural teeth never grew in. She tried fixed bridgework and removable partial dentures but they both failed over time.

Kristie considered getting another bridge, but recalls asking herself at the time, “Why don’t I just do something that’s more permanent? If the next bridge is just going to fail in seven years, why bother?” said Kristie.

Perhaps as a CPA it was easy for Kristie to determine that dental implants would save her money since this method of tooth replacement is capable of lasting a lifetime.

“When considering another bridge versus implants, I considered the financial cost of both,” she explained. “Implants are less expensive over the course of a lifetime.”

Most people use a few methods to make their dental implant procedures affordable. Find several commonly used resources to make paying for dental implants reasonable here.

What happens during dental implant surgery?

Kristie before and after dental implant

Kristie before and after dental implant

The surgery to place a single dental implant is a simple, routine procedure carried out in the dental office. First the area will be numbed so you won’t experience any pain. Some patients opt for sedation dentistry so they can relax or sleep during their implant procedures.

Once your mouth is numb, the single dental implant will be inserted into your jaw at a precisely planned angle. This is important since proper angulation will provide maximum support of your dental implant crown. Once your dental implant is healed over a three to six-month period, the final crown is attached to the dental implants.

Like Marcia and Kristie, your final implant crown is designed to look, feel and function like a natural tooth.

If you are in need of replacing one or more teeth, consider replacing them with dental implants at a Certified TeethXpress Provider’s office in your local area. There’s a good chance you will be as happy with your decision as Kristie is. “It’s just like natural teeth. It was well worth it. I would absolutely recommend it,” says Kristie.

[1] ADA.org