Recent years of dental advances have not only improved the safety, efficiency, and comfort of dental treatments, but they have also given patients a set of options when it comes to treating the teeth. Rather than taking a “one solution fits all” approach to dentistry, Dr. Thomas G. Zarger, Jr. involves patients in the treatment decision at his cosmetic dentistry practice. Dr. Zarger believes that by presenting patients with information regarding treatment options, patients can choose a dental treatment that best meets their personal needs and desires. Tooth loss is one area that offers patients many dental solutions. For instance, our Knoxville patients who will receive dental bridges are able to choose between implant and crown-supported bridges. The following information regarding these two treatment options can help patients make a decision regarding which technique is best for them.
The procedure for placing an implant-supported dental bridge can be a lengthy process. Implant treatment is a multi-step process in which small titanium screws are surgically placed into the jaw bone where they will act as replacement tooth roots. The dental implants will secure to small metal abutments, which protrude from the gum line and then secure to the dental bridge. There are many advantages and disadvantages to consider for this treatment option.
- Advantages: The security and longevity of dental implants is superior to all other restorative dental treatments. The comfort of dental implants is such that patients feel as though the restorations are natural teeth. This results in vastly improved oral functions such as eating, chewing, and speaking. Because the implants fuse with the jaw bone, another advantage is the continual stimulation of the bone which prevents bone loss and preserves facial structure.
- Disadvantages: Dental implants require multiple oral surgeries in order to complete treatment. As such, implant-supported bridges are costlier than other treatment alternatives.
In order to place a crown-supported bridge, the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth are capped with porcelain crowns. The dental bridge is then cemented into place between these two crowns. As with an implant-supported bridge, there are both advantages and disadvantages to a crown-supported implant.
- Advantages: Crown-supported bridges offer patients a less invasive treatment option. This procedure is non-surgical. Another benefit of crown-supported bridges is that they are less costly than dental implants. With a bridge in place, patients will experience improved aesthetics and function.
- Disadvantages: One disadvantage of a crown-supported bridge is that it requires alteration to the adjacent teeth. In order to place the crowns, patients will lose what is likely healthy tooth enamel. Crown-supported bridges also are not as durable or long-lasting as implant-supported bridges and do not stimulate healthy bone growth in the jaw as implant-supported bridges do.
Schedule an Appointment
Even with all the information on hand, it can be difficult for patients to determine what treatment option is best for them. Dr. Zarger is happy to offer his professional opinion based on each patient’s unique situation. If you have experienced tooth loss and would like to learn more about implant and crown-supported bridges, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Zarger. We look forward to hearing from you!