Dr Nami Farkhondeh is a senior lecturer in periodontology and implant dentistry and he is a practising dentist in London, UK. Based on his observations and studies over the years of work in the field of dental implantology, Nami warns patients against choosing a dental bridge over a dental implant solely for short-term financial savings.
More information about Dr Nami Farkhondeh can be viewed here: http://www.namifarkhondehreviews.co.uk/
When comparing a situation where there is a missing tooth and a decision is to be made on replacing the missing tooth with a dental implant or with a dental bridge, the bridge solution usually appears to be less costly as compared to a dental implant. But is that really the case?
Dr Nami Farkhondeh cautions patients making decisions based on short-term economics. The picture is different if a patient looks at the “lifetime costs” of a dental bridge versus a dental implant. An implant may appear to be more expensive because the upfront costs of an implant placement are higher than those of a dental bridge. But there are other costs to consider.
A dental implant placement, followed by the abutment and the crown which are secured to the implant fixture, do not involve the adjacent teeth. But in the dental bridge option, the dentist has to shave down the adjacent teeth. There is a significant tooth reduction and the shaved teeth may become more sensitive or even need root canal treatment at this early stage of the process. A bridge, which is basically two crowns with an artificial tooth in the middle, is cemented on top of these two prepared adjacent teeth.
Comparing the two situations at the early stages of post-treatment, often times both treatments can deliver similar kind of cosmetic results. However, with the passage of time, bone atrophy can occur around the retaining teeth which can lead to gum recession and compromise the aesthetics.
Depending on the marginal integrity, cavities could start to form around and under the crowns on the adjacent teeth of the bridge. They can be difficult to diagnose and, if left undetected, they can grow to the point where the cavity can reach the pulp of the tooth. This in turn can cause root canal problems as well as pathology at the tip of the root. With continued destruction, this could lead to tooth loss.
Comparing the options between choosing a dental bridge versus a dental implant for a missing tooth the advantage of not encroaching on the adjacent teeth is clear. Infections in the adjacent teeth can develop into dental abscess and bad breath. Bone destruction could also ensue below the gums. In such a case, the only option that remains is to remove the affected adjacent tooth used for creating the bridge. In this situation, the patient would have two missing teeth instead of the original one missing tooth!
If one could continue with the bridge option to now replace two missing teeth, the dentist would have to shave and cut the next adjacent healthy tooth to create a bigger bridge covering the space of the two missing teeth! Such a four unit bridge may be compromised mechanically and may be more prone to failure in the future. Furthermore, the process of bone atrophy will continue as before after the bigger bridge has been put in place.
By comparing and contrasting the dental bridge option versus the option for a dental implant, the destructive possibility of the dental bridge over the passage of time makes it clear that the costs, both monetary as well as due to the deterioration in the quality of life experienced by a patient are high. Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant is less traumatic to the adjacent teeth and is in often times less expensive over the life-time of the patient.
Neglecting the above facts and opting for a dental bridge for short-term savings can therefore be a potential for mistake. Due to financing options made available by good dental practices, it is possible for a patient to fund dental implant treatment with affordable monthly instalments.
Patients are encouraged to detect symptoms of gum disease early which is the precursor to tooth loss. A video on signs of gum disease can be viewed here: http://vimeo.com/namifarkhondehdentist/
Nami advises patients to inform themselves fully before making a decision on a dental treatment option. To read his social media posts visit: http://www.facebook.com/NamiFarkhondehPeriodontalAndImplantCare/
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