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Dental implants vs. Bridges


dental implants.A dental implant provides an anchor for multiple dental prosthetics, including a dental bridge. We can restore multiple missing teeth, or even an entire arch of missing teeth through an implant and bridge system. Working with our team at Pine Belt Periodontics, PLLC we can improve your bite and restore your aesthetic with implants and a dental bridge when multiple teeth are missing.

A traditional dental bridge is a fantastic option for replacing multiple missing teeth. The system works by placing false teeth where the patient has missing teeth. It is held in place with dental crowns on either end over a secure post or anchor. The downside can be in establishing anchors to support the device. Traditionally, we have used healthy teeth to serve as anchors, which can be a great option, but at times healthy teeth are unavailable. Additionally, it’s not ideal to permanently alter otherwise healthy teeth unnecessarily if other options are available.

A dental implant can be used as one or more anchors to hold a bridge in place. We surgically embed the implant in the location of an already missing tooth. Once healed, the implant is a firm post in your mouth, establishing a connection straight to the jawbone. This is good for replacement, and also good for the bone.

The process generally includes:
•  Determine Need: During your evaluation, we will examine the locations of the missing teeth, and the health of the bone. We can then discuss your options for replacement which may include either or both a dental implant and bridge.
•  Determine Bone: Often, we need to provide some added bulk to the bone. This can be done with a simple bone graft procedure. A bone graft is completed in our office. We often remove a small bit of bone material from the patient, but it can also be completed with donated or synthetic bone. We simply open up the tissue to reveal the bone, place the bone material, and suture the site closed. The bone material provides the stimulation that your bone needs to grow new bone.
•  Placement of Implant: Once healthy bone has been established, we can then place the dental implant. It is surgically sunk into the jaw bone. This process is completed in our office and is often done with only a local anesthetic. We may provide a temporary bridge at this time, or we may place your standard bridge, it will depend on the individual patient and their needs.
•  Healing: Soft tissue healing will occur within days, but bone healing can take much longer. As the bone heals, it will grow around the threaded implant bonding the two firmly together. We will know that healing has occurred when the implant feels firm in your mouth.

An implant can be helpful in multiple capacities. It can serve as one anchor, two anchors, or multiple anchors to set a full arch bridge as seen in the All-on-4® Treatment Concept. Today, we can provide you with replacement teeth that look real, feel real and stay permanently in place.

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