Most people like to think that they are careful when it comes to dental hygiene. They may brush and floss regularly and try and watch what they eat, but nevertheless over the years some decay and tooth loss has occurred. Yet it's very important to restore full functionality, not only so that you can chew your food properly, but so that you're not so self-conscious about your smile. Somebody may have told you that you need a bridge in order to fix everything, but did you know that single tooth implant technology is very advanced today? Why should you consider this?

Bridge Versus Implant?

In many respects, it's a lot easier to consider a single tooth option, rather than having a bridge fitted. This is because the bridge requires the teeth on either side of the replacement point to be modified, so that they can accept and support the incoming tooth. Modification typically means being ground down to a certain extent.

While this is certainly an option, in an ideal world it's best if the new tooth supports itself, rather than having to be supported by the bridge and the teeth around it. An implant, alternatively, is very stable, as the titanium piece that is used to anchor the new tooth will take the place of the original root. The bone structure will be augmented as a consequence and all of the teeth in this general location will benefit from a healthier underlying bone.

Some people feel that an implant is a better alternative to the bridge from a long-term point of view, as it is possible that the "collar" of a bridge can become exposed after some time, as the gums start to recede somewhat.

The Procedure

You will require two visits to the dentist in order to get an implant. During the first visit the site will be prepared and then the titanium insert will be placed. After a while to allow the bone and gum to integrate with the implant and the area to heal, you will return for the second visit, at which time the crown is attached. In the interim, a temporary replacement is used.

Deciding a Course of Action

The implant is intended to be as strong and aesthetically pleasing as the teeth all around it. Where at all possible, the dentist will advise you to consider a single tooth implant, as opposed to a bridge. Of course, sometimes it'll be necessary to select bridge work instead, but each case is assessed on an individual basis. Have a word with your dentist to see what would work best for you.