Category: Dentistry

Dental Implants, Crown or Bridge?

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What is the difference between dental crown, bridge or implant? Read the article to find which one is suited in what situation and what are the requirements for each. 

Dental Crown – restore an existing tooth

                If there is the case where a tooth becomes fractured or the risk of that happening is high enough (maybe because of a very large cavity) the dentist will recommend mounting a dental crown on it. This will restore both the structural integrity and the aesthetics of the tooth. The top remaining part of the natural tooth will be filed in order to integrate the crown. The lifetime of dental crowns is around 10-15 years. Read our guide on dental crowns to find more.

Dental Bridge and Implants – replace missing teeth

        Missing teeth are a very important reason for concern because the adjacent ones may become loose and the whole physiognomy of the face will change in time. Food debris that will get caught in the hole is an important breeding ground for bacteria and will cause bad breath problems.

         Restoring a missing tooth with dental bridge requires two structural healthy teeth. They will be filed and the dental bridge (basically three dental crowns) will be fixed on top of them. This operation typically involves two or three visits to the dental office with no surgery required, but the lifetime of the dental bridge is around 10-15 years.

         Dental implant surgery means to surgically insert a titanium post into the bone of the jaw. The jawbone needs to be in a healthy condition so that the implant will osseointegrate successfully (bone structure should grow into the porous structure of the titanium post). The inserted implant will serve as a secure anchor for the dental crown to be fixed. While the end result will be similar in terms of function and aesthetics to a natural tooth, the treatment is more costly than the dental bridge and stretches through at least 3 visits to the dental office on a 5 months or more time period. If all the protocols are respected, the lifetime of implants is at least 25 years. 


What should I choose?

                It is always better to preserve the natural teeth as much time as possible, therefore the dentist will recommend dental crowns for a damaged tooth for as long as it’s healthy and structurally strong to support it. Removing a tooth should be a last resort option.

                If you are missing a tooth, you will be choosing between having a dental bridge or an implant. Consider that the dental bridge will ruin the adjacent teeth. If they are already devitalized, the dental bridge might be the best choice. Choose dental implants when the teeth near the missing one are in good condition because in the long run it will worth it not to damage them. 


Are you suited for implants?

                The success of the dental implant surgery depends less on the age of the patient (however, the jawbone must have completed its growth process) and more on the overall health since the procedure depends on the body’s healing power. Persons with diabetes, weakened immune system and smokers aren’t the ideal patients. A good oral hygiene and healthy gums raises the chances of success and the implant’s lifetime. If the jawbone hasn’t enough bone structure, the dentist may place bone graft to support the area. The success rate in healthy bone tissue is around 95%, while in grafted bone it comes down to 85-90%. Patients that smoke are two and a half more prone to have an implant fail than a non-smoker one. Read our guide on dental implants to find out more.

Tags: dental implants, dental bridge, dental crown, dental prosthetics, dentistry

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