Dental Implant Or Bridge To Replace A Missing Tooth?

The Woodlands and Houston, TX

The Advantages of a Dental Implant Over a Three Unit Bridge

Traditionally, most dentists have treated a single missing tooth by replacing it with a bridge. However, dental technology and dental medicine have advanced so far in the last two decades that many individuals are now able to have their missing teeth replaced with dental implants that look, feel, and perform exactly like your natural teeth. Choosing an experienced dentist who offers the treatment option of a dental implant combined with a crown for single tooth replacements will offer many benefits. Dental Implants have many advantages over other treatment options such as bridges and dentures. One of the most notable advantages is the aesthetic factor of dental implants. Dental implants both look and feel like your own natural teeth, often making the implant indistinguishable from the adjacent natural teeth. When performed properly, no one should even be able to tell that you have a replacement tooth. Since dental implants are integrated into the actual bone structure, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that generally occur with a bridge or dentures that can negatively affect your smile’s appearance. Dentures can come loose and look unnatural if they do not blend with your gums. Additionally, some bridges and dentures have unsightly metal clasps that hold them in place. Dental implants provide the best possible cosmetic and functional end result and are always the treatment of choice by Houston cosmetic dentist,  Dr. Scott Young.   Dental Implants also offer a significant tooth-saving advantage.

Implants do not sacrifice the quality of adjacent teeth like a bridge does because the surrounding teeth are not altered in order to support an implant, leaving more of your own teeth left healthy and untouched. When replacing missing teeth with a dental bridge, the teeth adjacent to the tooth being replaced need to be prepared and perfectly healthy tooth structure is removed to accommodate a crown or bridge abutment to fit on top of the already healthy tooth. Implants don’t require this additional drilling or removal of perfectly healthy tooth structure! Additionally, if in the future one of the supporting teeth is damaged, the entire dental bridge restoration will also be compromised, whereas with an implant, the restoration is independent of any of your other teeth. By replacing lost teeth with an implant, your natural teeth do not need to be prepared or altered in any way, providing a significant oral health advantage!

An additional advantage to opting for dental implants is reduced bone loss. Normally, the bone tissue comprising your jaw around the root of your teeth is maintained by your body’s natural bone renewal process. This renewal process is continually being stimulated by the healthy teeth that the bone surrounds. However, once a tooth is permanently missing, as occurs in a bridge replacement, your jaw is essentially left with a hole where the root of the missing tooth used to be. Without the root, there is reduced bone renewal in the surrounding area that can lead to atrophy and deterioration of the jaw bone and actually change the shape of your jaw. However, by having a dental implant placed, the implant actually continues to stimulate bone growth and production, preventing the loss of the valuable existing bone. In some patients where substantial bone loss has already occurred, a bone graft may be required before placing the implant. Dr. Young serves Houston, Kingwood, The Woodlands, and the Conroe areas and is well trained in all of these procedures.

Dental Implants are also incredibly reliable, with their success rate being highly predictable which makes them such an excellent option for tooth replacement. Unlike bridges and dentures, which require special cleaning instructions and extra attention, dental implants simply need regular brushing, flossing and dental hygiene appointments, just like your natural teeth. Other disadvantages to a bridge include that the gums can recede around a bridge, leaving a visible defect when the metal base or collar of the bridge becomes exposed. Additionally, the cement that holds the bridge in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay the teeth that anchor the bridge. As an added bonus, implants generally last a lifetime while a typical bridge will be replaced in the future. Even when more than one tooth is missing, dental implants are a safer and better alternative to dental bridges.

Dr. Scott Young, of Woodlands Premier Dentistry, is a graduate of LVI, a distinction achieved by less than 1 percent of cosmetic dentists. Dr. Young’s passion for cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry led him to extensive, hands-on studies in implant dentistry. Today, Dr. Young offers one of the few practices in the Houston area to offer the full dental implant process in-house. When you choose to have your dental implants placed by Dr. Young, you’re assured of a safe procedure in a comfortable setting performed by a dentist dedicated to providing the highest level of care possible.

If you feel that dental implants might be the way to improve your smile, please contact the office of Dr. Young  to schedule a consultation to see if dental implants are right for you!