Millions of people across the United States are missing at least one tooth. A missing tooth is more than just a cosmetic issue, it’s also an oral health issue. It will affect your chewing function which will force you to avoid certain foods. With your bite, every tooth counts.
Just one missing tooth will lead to bone loss because stimulation to gum and bone stops without the tooth. Also, this causes the neighboring teeth to collapse or shift towards the void. Once your teeth are out of alignment, many issues can surface, such as a TMJ disorder, gum disease, and more tooth decay.
At our Baltimore dentist office, Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry, we offer a few options to help patients replace their missing teeth. The traditional method to replace a single missing tooth is a dental bridge. A bridge consists of two anchor crowns with the replacement tooth (the pontic) in the middle, all fused together.
The dentist cements the two crowns to two anchor teeth, which are located on each side of the missing tooth. This will literally “bridge” the gap created by a missing tooth. Your second option is an implant-secured dental crown.
Dr. Ed Lazer prefers that his patients get dental implants versus other dental restorations because they are the most natural tooth replacement option.
Dental Implant-secured Crown
A dental implant is actually a cylinder titanium post that a periodontist or dental surgeon surgically implants into the jaw bone. Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry is a full-service dental implant office in Baltimore. Dr. Doroshenko is a periodontist with a special focus on implantology and provides complete services in our Baltimore dental office.
After the surgery, you will need about three to six months to heal and allow the implant to fuse with the surrounding bone. Once your mouth heals, you will return to our office where Dr. Doroshenko will attach an abutment onto the implant. After about two weeks, we will finally permanently place your dental crown.
Dental Implant Versus A Traditional Dental Bridge
Breaking down the similarities and differences between the two available options will show you how a dental implant offers many more benefits than a dental bridge. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Doroshenko will be able to let you know if you qualify for an implant or if a bridge is a better route for you.
An implant actually replaces the tooth root, which will preserve the bone better thus preventing bone loss. Your neighboring teeth do not need to be ground-down with dental implants. With a traditional dental bridge, the dentist will need to grind down the anchor teeth to make room for the two dental crowns.
An implant will only replace the single tooth and does not involve the neighboring teeth. In the long run, an implant-supported crown is easier to care for and will last much longer. While the implant itself will last a lifetime, you may need to replace the dental crown every fifteen years. But it can last a lifetime if cared for properly.
Not everyone will qualify for dental implants. Generally speaking, a good candidate for a dental implant is in optimum health and possesses sufficient jaw bone structure for the titanium screw or post.
The dental implant process will take longer than the dental bridge process. While you can have a bridge placed in about two to three weeks, the dental implant process can take up to seven months. Also, the cost of a dental implant is much higher versus the cost of a bridge. When comparing the two options, you must consider the long-term benefits and your quality of life.
Learn More About Dental Implants