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Old 03-06-2008, 05:33 AM
Location: South Texas
40 posts, read 417,570 times
Reputation: 124


I have a tooth that requires extraction.

I've been given the option of replacing the tooth with a bridge or with an implant.

The implant will be a 5 month process and during that time, my missing tooth will be exposed when I smile. Also, the implant procedure is a surgical one versus the bridge which is not.

The bridge is quick and easy.

The cost is slightly higher for the implant, but not much more.

I'm opting for the bridge.

Any recommendations?

Thanks, CaTe
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:11 AM
3,750 posts, read 8,133,338 times
Reputation: 2677
A few thoughts from a claims adjuster who specializes in dental malpractice.

Implant- The upside is that you're not messing with any other teeth. It's a very invasive process and more can go wrong, ie, infections, lack of proper integration, grafting that doesn't work well... and can really mess up that area. But when they work, they are the best thing. Also, it is something I would never recommend having done by a general dentist- only by an Oral Surgeon or other specialist as so much can go wrong and having to re-do an implant is not a fun experience. Make darn certain the bone they are drilling into is wide enough. My general dentist was just going to drill it in, but I went to an oral surgeon for a second opinion and found my bone was not wide enough and I would have had a mess on my hands.

Bridge- The upside to a bridge is that it's safer (in general) and bridges can easily be re-made or replaced if they break or wear out. The down side is that you are essentially crowning the two abuttment teeth. If the bridge is not very well made (suggest a prostodontist) you will have problems with the abuttment teeth, that will usually lead to root canals and eventually loss of teeth. However, for some people (like me with my bridge) it's the only option as I cannot have an implant.

All this to say these types or procedures have their own set of risks associated with them. I would perfer an implant myself. The success rate is over 90%- and that's pretty good.

If you have any other detailed questions, feel free to PM me.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:35 AM
2,838 posts, read 7,195,681 times
Reputation: 2770
Blazer Prophet had excellent points... After having worked in a dental office for 6 years, I agree with every single thing he said.

I will add that if the adjoining teeth are untouched, or only have a small filling, I'd go with the implant. If they have large fillings and/or root canals, I'd probably go with the bridge, because those adjoining teeth will likely need crowns at some point anyway.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:46 AM
Location: In the woods next to the ocean
4,225 posts, read 9,535,996 times
Reputation: 7109
I thought about implants, but my my bone was too narrow so I got a bridge with two teeth on it. The teeth it was mounted to were worn and cracked and needed crowns anyway as did several others so I had my whole mouth done, including a new partial for the bottom.

It's been about a year and I am really happy with the results.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:55 AM
Location: Kent County, DE
685 posts, read 2,101,340 times
Reputation: 405
Default options for fixing bridgework

I have a roundhouse bridge that is approx 5 years old. Last year I had a root canal through the the first molar on one side. Subsequently, the porcelin broke off and now it looks like I'm missing that tooth. I am very self conscious of my smile so the dentist is going to do some bonding there.. One quote was for $300 and the other was for $700. I elected to have the less expensive treatment but am wondering if greying might pose the same cosmetic result. Will I be disappointed if I do the lesser of the two treatments? What is the success rate of these bonding procedures?
Replacing the bridge is not an option. It involves 12 teeth.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:57 AM
Location: wrong planet
5,020 posts, read 8,068,013 times
Reputation: 3819
Implants are a better and long lasting choice, IF you get a specialist to do the procedure and you are a good candidate. I think the cost for an implant is actually not that much higher than a bridge...and you are leaving the two adjoining teeth intact. Preparing a tooth to be crowned, which the dentist would need to do to install the bridge, could end up causing the tooth to "die" (nerve dying) from the trauma, causing you a lot more troubles (root canal). But on the other hand, some people have bridges for many, many years without problems. Whatever you decide, go to the best specialist you can find, money well spent, IMO. Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:00 AM
Location: wrong planet
5,020 posts, read 8,068,013 times
Reputation: 3819
One more thing... is this a front tooth? You mentioned it shows when you smile...
You might also want to look into something called a "Maryland bridge". The fake tooth is attached to the neighboring teeth, WITHOUT getting crowned. This is also cheaper and some people have good success with this.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:05 PM
5,559 posts, read 13,307,958 times
Reputation: 3701
I got an implant on one of my front most teeth. They gave me a retainer where you only have one tooth on it for the duration of the procedure. Not great, but it did work.

I have had no troubles with the implant - got it 9 years ago. Just make sure you get a good surgeon who specializes in the implant procedure. However, it is expensive.

I would go for the implant. It's like a real tooth.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:18 PM
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,618 posts, read 24,655,175 times
Reputation: 6209
I know its a long process getting the implant but it will be more like a real tooth. I have assisted on some of the initial parts of the procedure but not the final ones. I think in the end you would be happier. I know a partial would annoy me no end.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:55 PM
Location: ~~In my mind~~
2,109 posts, read 5,121,885 times
Reputation: 1598
I am going to get an implant. I had the tooth removed where the implant is going to go. I now have a fake tooth on a retainer so I dont go around toothless, until my jaw heals. The dentist I am going to said it is about a 5 to 6 month process. The biggest thing is waiting for my jawbone to heal. As they had to remove my adult tooth that was impacted in the bone. It never came down, I still had my baby tooth there. I am looking forward to getting a permant tooth, this retainer type thing is bugging me.
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