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Nowadays when there are several treatment options available for missing teeth, it is very important to study pros and cons of each treatment before you decide to choose for replacing them. While Fixed Bridge option was selected by people for replacing a missing teeth since years, modern dentistry has made replacing teeth with dental implants a popular option. Irrespective of whether you have one or several missing teeth, you should consider following when deciding between a dental implant and a fixed bridge:
Placement: Both a dental implant and a fixed bridge will help replace teeth that were lost, which is good news for your oral function. A bridge is a fake tooth supported by two dental crowns; getting a crown means that adjoining teeth need to buffed down so that the crown/cap can be placed. A Bridge requires healthy teeth to be physically altered in order to accommodate the crowns that support the bridge. This is why modern dentistry recommends implant-supported dental bridges as an alternative to suitable candidates. Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jaw, where they fuse with the bone and act as artificial tooth roots. Because titanium is not recognised as a foreign substance by the human body, the dental implants essentially become part of the patient's natural anatomy, providing unrivaled support for the dental bridge. Implant supported bridge are simply caps (crowns) placed on titanium screw itself. Therefore they save adjoining teeth from loosing some of the tooth substance.
Flexibility: In the case of a bridge, a dentist will need healthy adjacent teeth for support. Therefore fixed bridges require that at least one tooth be present surrounding the site of a lost tooth. Advantage of implants is that they can be used to replace more than one missing natural tooth. With dental implants various combinations are possible as explained in above image.
Longevity: The life expectancy of bridgework is less than that of implants. There are more things that can go wrong with bridges, as they are (in general) not held as securely in place. Tooth decay, for example can destroy a tooth that holds the bridgework, whereas an implant is immune to decay. However both can be damaged by gum disease, so you need to maintain good oral hygiene.
Cost-Effectiveness: Initial treatment cost of dental implants is typically more than a bridge. However dental implants do last longer than fixed bridges and can be considered a wise investment for long term oral health.
Easy maintain and clean: If you are considering implants, you should take in consideration another important advantage - implants are easier to maintain. The cleaning process is very simple and flossing between implants is possible.
Procedure: To get a bridge, you will have to undergo a simple dental procedure that involves no surgery, whereas dental implants require surgical intervention. A dental bridge is recommended in the case of jaw bone loss or significant damage. The process will be simpler, less painful and less expensive in such instances. It is important to know that the positioning of dental implants demands healthy bone or bone grafting procedure where sufficient bone does not exist.
Retain jawbone structure: Once a tooth is extracted or lost, the bone that used to hold it in place shrinks away even after bridge is placed. If there are several missing teeth, this may result in a visible change in the shape of the face. This can make a person look aged. A great benefit of a implants is that they can help maintain the bone structure. A bone graft may first be needed, but once the metal settles, the bone will be preserved. Therefore the jaw shape will remain fuller and more natural. A dental bridge has no such benefits with regards to bone preservation. Knowing these factors will help you make an informed decision about dental implants and bridges. Each option has its advantages that need to be compared for an informed decision to be made.
Having awareness about the treatment that you are looking for yourself or your child is a good thing. However with awareness sometimes you get to know few things which may be myths. So, Smile Zone tackles some of the most common orthodontics myths:
Myth-1: There is no point of having braces for an adult:Some treatments take more time for an adult than they do for children because adult's facial bones are no longer growing and certain corrections may not be accomplished with braces alone. While its true that approach to crooked teeth may be different for adults compared to children, but you're never too old for orthodontic treatment. Moreover a healthy beautiful smile is equally important at the age of 40 as it is at age of 14. Nowadays there are many orthodontic treatment options available for adults. Today's braces do not draw as much attention of people as you may believe.
Myth-2: The tighter, the better:Many people insist to orthodontist to keep their braces tight. People believe if braces are too tight they will get their braces off faster! Its true that braces should have certain level of force to move the teeth, but the force level which is too high can certainly damage the bone and surrounding tissues. Orthodontic treatment is an art of maintaining delicate level of force by making sure teeth do not move in the wrong direction and the force does not damage teeth bone and surrounding tissues.
Myth-3: Only braces can straighten my teeth:Not necessary, with technology advancement its now possible to straighten your teeth without having to wear braces. Products such as Invisalign Clear Aligners are one of the options that offer teeth straightening without having to wear braces. However Invisalign Clear Aligners may not be the best option for fixing bite problems if there are many crooked teeth. Its best to visit Smile Zone for an initial consultation and let us find-out what kind of treatment option can suit you best.
Myth-4: After removing braces my teeth will stay straight forever:Getting your teeth straight with the help of braces is just half work done. After removing braces we may recommend you to wear retainers to make sure your teeth stay in place.
Myth-5: Orthodontic treatment is painful:With the help of technology advancement braces have become far less irritating. Braces do not hurt at all after they are applied to teeth. In some cases patient may feel mild soreness or discomfort, which disappears after few days. Remember, “It does not have to hurt to work!”
Myth-6: The length of treatment is guaranteed:An orthodontist can only do a rough estimation about length of the treatment. At the same time you cannot compare length of treatment with anyone else. This is because there are many factors affecting length of treatment such how your teeth respond to braces, breaking down of braces during the treatment, not brushing well, not coming in for regular appointments, having dense bone etc.