A dental implant is an elective option for tooth replacement.  It is usually recommended when a patient is in good oral and physical health.  Even though the same implant material has been used in the human body since the 1950’s, it is just now that it is becoming the preferred way or even the “standard of care” for replacing teeth.  Out of all the different treatment options for a missing tooth, dental implant have one of the greatest longevity.

The density of the bone, location of maxillary sinuses and other vital structures such as nerves & arteries are just some of the factors that come into play when deciding if a dental implant is right for you.   A trained and skilled oral surgeon can help you review all of the potential pros and cons of getting a dental implant.  In some cases, additional work, such as bone-grafting may be required in order to have enough healthy bone to obtain an implant.

For those patients that are not good candidates for implant, other options such as a “bridge” exists.  A bridge is a type of “fixed” dental restoration, meaning it is fixed to the adjacent teeth and is not removed on a daily basis.  Most commonly a bridge contains three units, anchored by one tooth on each side of the gap and a “pontic” or fake tooth that takes the place of the missing tooth.  

Some handicaps of a bridge may be, shaving, or prepping the adjacent teeth which may have nothing wrong with them.  This may affect the over-all health and longevity of the site surrounding the missing tooth.  Also, the bone below the missing tooth will resorb after time without proper stimulation to help maintain its density.  Since a dental implant is place inside the bone, it helps to stimulate and maintain the bone.



A third option is removable denture or partial.  A partial is a less expensive option than an implant or a bridge.  A partial is a removable acrylic structure that snaps into place with metal clasps.  Removable partials have a similar function to natural teeth and are a good option for some patients.

Tags: , , , ,