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Missing tooth : To replace or not to?

“Dental Implants” are two of the most common words one hears from a dentist now-a-days. For those of you who haven’t heard about it yet, a dental implant, in very simple words; is a titanium screw which is inserted into your bone so that your missing tooth can be replaced.

Replacement of missing teeth is beneficial for maintaining oral health.

Bridges and dental implants are the 2 ways by which missing teeth can be fixed in the mouth.

As the name suggests, a dental bridge “bridges” the gap created by the missing tooth by taking support from the two adjacent teeth. A dental implant however replaces the missing tooth in its entirety, root as well as crown of the tooth. Thus it does not require the support of adjacent teeth to remain fixed in the jaw as it is fixed in the jaw bone.

The decision between choosing a bridge vs a dental implant should not be based only on the cost of either. There are many pros of dental implants that the bridge cannot even compete with.

Bridges are assumed to be the “cheaper” option to replace missing teeth. If you are against dental implants only for financial reasons, consider the long term benefits (and potential cost savings) before choosing your option.

Dental implants and planning for them has come a long way since its inception. Imaging technology allows us to view 3D images of the patient’s jaws which helps in accurate planning and prediction of the outcome of implant placement. Newer methods of implant placement have enabled us in placing implants where, previously it was deemed impossible to do so. It is possible to place implants and the crown above it immediately after tooth extraction. It is also possible to replace all your teeth in as less as 4 dental implants. That too in one day!