As a Kitchener Dentist, a lot of patients ask what is better: bridges or dental implants. Yesterday, I discussed scenarios in which dental bridges win out over dental implants for long-term durability and value. Today, let’s chat about when a dental implant is the clear choice over a bridge!
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 circumstances under which a dental implant is the best option for you!
Kitchener Dentist Files: Pristine Teeth Neighboring a Space
You’re probably thinking, “what does this heading even mean?”. I’ll break it down for you. If you’ve lost a single tooth, for example, a dental bridge will need to rest or anchor on at least 1 tooth on either side of the space. The bridge will attach to those teeth by way of a dental crown or “cap”. To create space for those crowns, your Kitchener Dentist will need to adjust or shave the anchor teeth by 1-2 mm. Doesn’t sound like much, right? Well, if those teeth are pristine (that is, they’ve never had any fillings) then the 1-2 mm you lose will be healthy enamel and dentin. And, that’s not ideal. As I discussed yesterday, reduction and crowning as part of a dental bridge makes sense when those teeth need crowns anyway. That is, if what your Dentist is shaving off is filling material then you are not really losing natural tooth structure. But when your Family Dentist would be removing lots of beautiful, strong enamel, it just doesn’t make sense. The dental implant becomes the best restorative option.
Dental implants are a wonderful restorative solution to replace missing teeth. However, they are not always superior to dental bridges. The beauty of the dental implant is that it does not require adjustment of any other teeth in the mouth. When teeth that would anchor a bridge are pristine and unrestored you should strive to avoid solutions that require stripping and loss of healthy enamel and dentin. Choose an implant and keep your pristine teeth untouched.
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.