Dr. Todd Miller, DDS
Dr. Steven Bounds, DDS, MS
When a single tooth is missing, the two most common treatment options are the traditional tooth supported bridge and an implant supported crown. When a traditional bridge is used to replace a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth are cut down into peg shapes in order to fit the cemented bridge in place.
This method of tooth replacement can be very esthetic and functional for a period of time. However, a tooth-supported bridge does not replace the bone that previously surrounded the root. Since there is no longer a root to hold the bone in place, the bone deteriorates, or melts away.
There are many advantages to replacing a single missing tooth with an implant-supported crown:
When more than one tooth is missing, there are three common treatment options: the traditional tooth supported bridge, a removable partial denture and an implant supported bridge. In this situation the benefits of implant-supported teeth are even more obvious.
A removable prosthesis, such as a partial denture, actually accelerates the bone resorption (deterioration) process that occurs naturally when teeth are lost or removed. In addition, the clasps that hold the partial denture in place put significant pressure on the natural teeth they hook onto, loosening them and in many cases, eventually leading to the loss of those teeth. Most patients with partial dentures state that they are uncomfortable and that they rarely wear them.
The advantages of replacing multiple missing teeth with implant-supported bridges include the following:
In the past, people missing all of their teeth had no option but dentures. This prosthesis has numerous disadvantages, such as:
These problems can be solved with implant supported replacement teeth, which are stable (securely fastened to the implants) and maintain the integrity of the facial structures by preserving the bone.
Some of the many advantages of implant supported replacement teeth include the following: