Many patients have asked us if it is better to replace missing teeth with a fixed bridge or with dental implants. Loss of a natural tooth can begin the dissolution of the bone which originally supported the tooth. This,in turn, can cause premature aging of facial features. The earlier a missing tooth is replaced, the more bone is saved to maintain a more youthful appearance.
So how to decide between an implant or a fixed bridge? A fixed bridge uses a false tooth attached to adjacent teeth on either side to "bridge" the gap left by the missing tooth. This requires the rather destructive preparation of the adjacent teeth which have to be prepared to accept the new "bridge." Home care following the placement of a bridge has to scrupulous to avoid future cavities near the gum line or gum disease.
Implants, on the other hand, do not require compromising the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth at all. Instead a small titanium implant is place in the original tooth's bone pocket, as it actually forms a bond with with your bone over time. This provides incredible stability for the crown that will be placed on top of the implant. Our crows are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. No one will ever know!
The future is implants, because of the benefits that you the patients will ultimately enjoy.