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 gums and bone are not stimulated due to the void. Also, this causes the neighboring teeth to collapse or shift towards the void. Once your teeth are out of alignment, many issues can surface including a TMJ disorder, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry, a Baltimore dentist office, offers a few options to help patients replace their missing tooth. The traditional method to replace a single missing tooth is a dental bridge. A bridge is comprised of two anchor crowns with the replacement tooth (the pontic) in the middle, all fused together. The two crowns are cemented to two anchor teeth which are located on each side of the missing tooth. This is designed to literally “bridge” the gap created by a missing tooth. Your second option would be a dental 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 Dental Crown
A dental implant is actually a cylinder titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone. Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry is a full service dental implant office in Baltimore. Performing the tooth implant surgery is Dr. Roham Rafat, a periodontist that is trained in implantology. After the surgery, you will need about three to six months to heal and allow the implant to fuse with the surrounding bone. Once you are healed, you will return to our office where a small piece called an abutment will be loaded on to the implant. After about two weeks, we will finally permanently place your dental crown.
Dental Implant vs 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, Baltimore dentist Dr. Lazer 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 is designed to actually replace the tooth root which will preserve the bone better thus preventing bone loss. Your neighboring teeth do not need to be grinded down with dental implants. With a traditional dental bridge, the anchor teeth will need to be grinded down 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, the dental crown may need replaced every fifteen years but 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 bone structure for a titanium stud to be implanted into the bone. 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 compared to a bridge. When comparing the two options, you must consider the long term benefits and your quality of life.
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