In all fields of medicine there are always more than one choice to solving a problem. Although implants have many advantages over other treatments, they may not be for everyone. A recent stud study just came out comparing the amount of missing teeth in an average American vs people who reside in the United Kingdom. For those under the age of 65, there was an average of 7 teeth missing vs 6 teeth missing in the UK. I am not focusing on the differences today, but on the fact that we are missing 20% of our teeth on an average.
This begs the question as to how to replace these teeth. One of the simplest ways to replace multiple teeth is with a partial denture that the patient may remove themselves. This has special applications. Some of these will have metal involved and others will not. We will talk about this in the future and delve into those options. Those of us in the dental field have attached ourselves to implants because they can function by themselves. What do I mean by that. It means that a dental implant can anchor to the jaw as opposed to anchoring to an adjacent tooth. This really big as we don’t have to involve more teeth than necessary. After all in most cases, our teeth are more apt to fail when compared to our jaws failing.
That being said, dental implants may not be for everyone. One of the biggest barriers to implant dentistry was cost. That is a thing of the past with my new system and protocol for replacing teeth with implants. That will be another column. But putting cost aside, there may be other reasons for not choosing a dental implant. In those cases we have “fixed bridges” which are permanently attached to adjacent teeth. These bridges look and feel great. With some of our newer materials in dentistry, we don’t even have to use metal as a substructure for the bridge anymore. This allows some of the best cosmetics that I have seen in my four decades of dentistry
Aside from the cosmetics, there is a time or speed factor. In most cases, your missing tooth is filled in on the day that you come in to see me. You will leave the visit with a tooth or teeth to replace either your back or front teeth. This is always a plus as one of the most common questions that I get is how long will everything take to accomplish. Bridges can be made much faster than most cases of implant dentistry. Note that I said most, not all. That too is another column. So for someone who has a family gathering or other social event, the use of bridges allows me to correct your problem very quickly. I could go on and on as to the advantages of bridgework. If you are missing a tooth or teeth, please call us and come in for a complimentary consultation. It may be one of the best phone calls that you could ever make.