The root canal that I received this past March didn’t work. My dentist did a second root canal last month, but she could not save the tooth. She extracted it. The tooth is a right lateral incisor, so I have a tooth missing in the front of my mouth. It’s there for everyone to see. I’m debating on whether or not to get a dental implant or a bridge. An implant costs so much, but my dentist said it could last for the rest of my life. And then I’m not sure if my dentist knows how to handle complex cases. She is young, and this is only her fourth year in practice. I’m four hours away from Dr. Szarek’s office. Otherwise, I would come there. Can you give me some things to consider before I say and make a commitment to the wrong dentist? Thanks. Teresa
Teresa – Below are a few things to consider.
- Surgery – Minimally invasive surgery is required to place implant fixtures in your jawbone.
- Healing time – It takes several weeks for the implant to fuse to your jawbone.
- Effect on adjacent teeth – No work is required on your adjacent teeth.
- Cost – Dental implants cost more than other forms of tooth replacement, including a dental bridge.
- Long-term results – Depending on your age, implants can last a lifetime.
- Effectiveness – They look and feel like your natural teeth.
- Bone shrinkage – Implant fixtures stimulate the jawbone and prevent shrinkage.
- Surgery – No surgery is required to place a dental bridge.
- Healing time – There is no healing time, so your dentist can place the implant right away.
- Effect on adjacent teeth – Your dentist will shave down the tooth on either side of the missing. The adjacent teeth will serve as anchors for the bridge, and a dental crown will be placed over each of them.
- Cost – A bridge doesn’t cost as much as a dental implant. In some cases, a dental implant can cost twice as much.
- Long-term results – A dental bridge can last 10 to 20 years.
- Effectiveness – Dental crowns can be made to look like your natural teeth, but a bridge won’t feel as natural as a dental implant.
- Bone shrinkage – A dental crown is suspended in the middle of the bridge to replace the missing tooth. But since there is no implant fixture to stimulate the bone, the beneath the crown will gradually shrink.
Whether you choose a dental implant or a bridge, find an experienced implant dentist who is also a cosmetic dentist. You will receive a quality dental implant that looks natural.
This blog is sponsored by Michael Szarek, DMD of Lowell, MA. Dr. Szarek is an implant dentist and an accredited cosmetic dentist.