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If you find yourself needing a single tooth replaced, a dental implant is the best alternative to a conventional fixed bridge. They look and feel so natural; you might even forget you ever had a missing tooth!
An implant allows the missing tooth be replaced without affecting any of the surrounding teeth. Some people opt for a bridge to replace a missing tooth. However, in the case of a bridge, the adjacent teeth must be drilled or ground down so that the fixed bridge has something to attach to. Doing this puts healthy teeth at risk of nerve damage. A conventional fixed bridge lasts about ten to twelve years so when it needs to be replaced, the adjacent teeth may have to be drilled again.
Your implant is composed of three parts: the actual implant which provides stability, a crown to replace the missing tooth and an abutment which connects the crown to the implant. Because a dental implant will replace your tooth root, it preserves the bone better. In the long term, a single implant can look better and be easier to clean than a bridge. Gums can recede around a bridge, which might lead to the metal base or collar of the bridge to be exposed. Resorbed bone beneath the bridge can lead to an unattractive smile. Finally, the cement holding the bridge can crumble, allowing bacteria in and to decay the anchor teeth. Once your implant is secure, an abutment and crown are attached; creating a solid surface for chewing that will last many years, possibly a lifetime.
In some cases, a conventional bridge may be the best option, especially if the adjacent teeth already need treatment or if an implant can’t be placed due to space issues.
Good oral hygiene, including flossing, is very important to maintaining a healthy single tooth implant or conventional fixed bridge. Proper care of whichever method of tooth replacement you chose, will ensure the longest possible lifespan of your apparat ice.
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