If you are missing one or more teeth, you may ask your Kitchener Dentist whether an implant or dental bridge is better for you. With advances in implant dentistry, many assume that dental implants are the “gold standard” option. This is absolutely not the case. Dental Implants are a better option in some circumstances but not others. Today, I’d like to explore limitations with dental implants and under what circumstances a dental bridge will provide a superior outcome.
Kitchener Dentist Files: Broken or Compromised Neighboring Teeth
A dental bridge includes bridge teeth to replace 1 or more missing teeth. It also includes retainers or crowns that anchor your bridge to teeth on either side of a space or gap. Now, teeth that are root-canal-treated, heavily worn, fractured or restored with lots of filling material should be reinforced with dental crowns or “caps”. I often see patients considering a dental bridge who have teeth neighboring the gap or space that are in need of dental crowns. Well, in this circumstance a dental bridge will provide them with the added bonus of crowns on teeth that already need crowns!
Ask your Kitchener Dentist about the state of neighboring teeth and whether or not they would benefit from receiving dental crowns.
Kitchener Dentist Files: Tipped Neighboring Teeth
If you have lost one or more teeth, and waited a number of years to replace them, it is likely that neighboring teeth have tipped into the space. This is very common. The degree of tipping is not always apparent if you simply look in your own mouth. You have to look from the right angle and x-rays help to show tipping, too. So, ask your Kitchener Dentist about tipping of neighboring teeth when considering dental implants. If you look at the image above, you’ll see a pencil tip pointing to a tipped tooth. This tooth has moved into the space left by tooth extraction. Firstly, there is not much room to access the site in front to place an implant of proper size. Secondly, if you can successfully place an implant (drawn in yellow) at the site, your crown on top of the implant will be less than ideal. This is because there will be a large space or “food trap” (shown in green). It is inevitable that daily food trapping will lead to inflammation and bone loss. Eventually, the implant will fail.
In the case above, you can make a dental bridge to replace the missing tooth and it will properly fill all of the space left by tooth extraction. You won’t have any hard to clean gaps or stubborn food traps. A dental bridge wins out here, every time!
Dental implants are a great restorative option for replacing lost teeth. However, they are not always the best solution and their suitability depends on certain circumstances. I hope that this article will get you thinking a bit about treatment options for replacing lost teeth. I also hope that you’ll take away some questions to ask your Kitchener Dentist about Dental Bridges and Implants.
Thanks for reading!
By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener Dentist
Our Kitchener Dental Clinic is conveniently located in Downtown Kitchener and we are a short drive away for families in Kitchener, Waterloo, Breslau & Stratford.
This article is meant to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Kitchener Dentist or other healthcare provider regarding a dental condition or treatment.