Years ago, a dental bridge or partial denture were your only choices when replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Partial dentures are a removable appliance to replace one or more missing teeth in an arch. For dental bridges, the two, or more, teeth adjacent to the missing tooth would need to be prepped, or enamel removed and a custom fixed appliance made to span, or bridge, the gap. If these neighboring teeth have large fillings or need crowns, a bridge may be a good option. What if the neighboring teeth do not require crowns? With a dental implant, only the missing tooth is replaced with a strong permanent restoration that looks like your natural tooth.
Implants have a benefit of being more durable than bridges or partials. They are made of titanium and are designed to last a lifetime. Once the implant is placed, the titanium fuses with your natural bone in a process called osseointegration. The titanium also is advantageous because it does not decay. If you have had a bridge or know someone with one, you may know they can be challenging to brush and particularly to floss. The remaining teeth under a bridge are susceptible to decay. While the average lifetime of a bridge is around 10 years, dental implants should last a lifetime.
Dental implants have numerous benefits over other treatment options:
- They behave like your natural teeth
- They prevent bone loss
- They can last a lifetime
- They can prevent facial sagging associated with tooth loss
- They keep adjacent teeth stable
You will need to consult your dentist to see if a dental implant is right for you. Most dentists will schedule a free consultation to discuss this option. If you do not already have current dental x-rays, your dentist will need to take some for diagnosis. Call Dr. Nancy Rotroff and Dr. Gerard Wasselle in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, at 954-928-1666 to schedule your consultation for dental implants.