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Dental implants vs bridges

Replacement of missing teeth is required to avoid complications in future. A lost tooth can be replaced by dental implants or bridges. Losing a tooth may not seem a big issue initially but it leads to complications like movement of adjacent and opposing tooth, change in bite, loss of bone, uncomfortable chewing, jaw pain, etc. Removal of a tooth should be followed by planning its replacement as soon as possible.

A dental implant may be placed at the time of extraction itself to avoid further loss of bone. The dentist can give the final crown at the time of surgery or after healing period, where a temporary crown is given in the surgical phase. An impression with abutment in place is recorded and sent to the lab for final prosthesis fabrication. The crown may be screw or cement-retained depending on the case. It does not affect the adjacent teeth and bone in the process. Instead, implants utilize the available bone and space. It resembles natural teeth where the implant behaves like the root and the abutment with crown functions like a natural crown.

Missing tooth can also be replaced with a dental bridge where the adjacent teeth are minimally prepared to act as support fir the bridge. Different dental materials require different amount of tooth reduction. In some cases where patient experiences sensitivity, endodontic treatment may be needed as well. The impression for the prepared teeth is then sent to the lab for fabrication of the final crowns. The crowns may then be placed with dental cement. The material of crown varies from metal to ceramics to zirconia depending on the patient’s esthetic and functional requirements. It is important to select the correct material for the prosthesis to last long.

Replacement of lost teeth maintains the chewing efficiency and bite of the patient in the long run. It is important to choose the correct shade so that the restoration appears as natural as possible, especially in esthetic or anterior zone. Digital impression helps in hassle free recording of the tooth and replication of the same by the technician to fabricate the prosthesis. It also makes the patient comfortable and complaint. The need of a trial depends on the case. Digital planning also helps you to see the final outcome even before starting the procedure. It helps in better treatment planning.

Your dentist may help you choose the suitable treatment option for you after clinically and radiographically assessing the condition. The selection of material is crucial as well since a front tooth replaced by a metal or metal ceramic option would be highly unaesthetic. Functionally strong zirconia crowns are given for posterior teeth in patients with high esthetic demand. In patient with parafunctional habit monolithic zirconia is the material of choice. The crowns or bridges should restore the occlusion to avoid temporomandibular issues later. A good clinician may help you to decide the best dental treatment for you without digging a hole in your pocket and delivering the best solution for your case.

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