I’m missing a lateral incisor. Growing up it was always embarrassing to me. Then my teeth shifted and looked weird and it became even more embarrassing. Now, I’m a young adult and am finally able to get my mouth in order. I just finished up with orthodontics. My dentist provided me with a dental flipper while I decided what I wanted to do. He’s suggesting a dental bridge, but my understanding is that it affects three teeth, right?
Let’s start with your dentist’s recommendation. You are correct that a dental bridge will affect three teeth. It consists of a false tooth suspended between two dental crowns. This means the adjacent teeth will have to be ground down in order for a crown to fit on them. If one or both of the adjacent teeth needed work, this would be a good solution. However, if they are both healthy, I’m going to recommend you go a different direction. It’s always better to keep healthy tooth structure.
The Best Tooth Replacement Option
If you want to know what the best tooth replacement option for your situation, I would recommend you get a dental implant. As you can see from the picture above, it provides a prosthetic tooth root and comes the closest to having a healthy natural tooth. So, why didn’t your dentist recommend that instead of a bridge? I”m just guessing here, but it is likely he isn’t as familiar placing dental implants as he is a dental bridge.
A dental implant is an advanced procedure and not as many dentists do it as will do a dental bridge. It is always better if you can find someone who can do the surgery as well as the implant crown. So, look for someone with surgical skills and advanced training in restorative dentistry. Look at Dr. Pumphrey’s training to get an idea of what you want.
This blog is brought to you by Atlanta Periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey.