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Should I have a single tooth implant or a bridge?

  • If you are missing just one tooth, your dentist may have suggested that you get a bridge (where the replacement tooth is held in place by brackets over the teeth either side of it the gap). This problem could also be tackled by having a single tooth implant, using one on implant and placing one crown on it.
  • One benefit of having a single tooth implant rather than a bridge is that an implant does not require any adjustment to the surrounding teeth. This means that your overall oral health is not made any worse. When you have a bridge fitted, the neighbouring teeth often need to be sanded or shaved down to accommodate and properly support the fixed bridge.
  • Another benefit of a single tooth implant over a dental bridge is that the bone is actually preserved better. The titanium implant acting as a tooth root grows into the bone creating a firm bond. If you have a bridge, some of the bone tissue that did surround the tooth will deteriorate.

Over time in particular, you may find that a dental implant has a nice aesthetic effect. The gums line around where your bridge is fitted can recede, which means you may even be able to see the metal base or collar of the bridge. Resorbed or receding bone beneath the bridge can result in a changing smile over time – away from the Hollywood smile you desire.

You may also find a bridge harder to keep clean, because the cement that holds it in place can crumble or wash away which lets bacteria grow on the teeth that are holding the bridge in place (or the anchor teeth).

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