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I recently had a tooth removed at the surgeon’s office. I was told that a dental implant was my best choice to replace it. Wouldn’t a fixed bridge work just as well?

added on: January 20, 2012

It might, but it depends on the situation. Fixed bridges have been a tried and true mode of replacement for missing teeth for generations. And they still are. However, it has been documented that every restoration, no matter how perfectly it is fabricated, has a lifespan. A fixed bridge is fitted to natural teeth and while there is very little surface area exposed to the attack of sugars and plaque, it is still inherently vulnerable. A dental implant is made of titanium. It cannot decay. It is also surprisingly resistant to periodontal breakdown.

When a bridge fails due to decay, the subsequent replacement of it may be a more compromised bridge perhaps due to loss of the supporting tooth’s nerve or due to a shortened tooth holding the new bridge ( picture a fence section where a post is replaced by a new one that is not as deep in the earth.) If a bridge fails due to fracture of one the abutments, the replacement may need to be longer, thus incorporating more teeth. A dental implant can represent a more long lasting replacement. It maybe more conservative if other teeth do need need restoring in the process.

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