The old-fashioned way to replace a missing tooth is to prepare the tooth on each side for a dental crown. A dental bridge is then made that crowns those two teeth and suspends a false tooth between them.
A dental implant, however, actually replaces the tooth root with a fixture that is implanted in your bone. Then a crown is placed over it.
Both of these techniques are effective in providing you with a solution that feels just like your natural tooth.
You can see the difference in the diagrams on the right.
Benefits of Dental Implants as Opposed to Dental Bridges
- The adjacent teeth do not have to be ground down for crowns.
- Since they have an artificial tooth root, they often look much more natural.
- They are easier to clean and maintain. No special flossing tools or picks are required to clean them properly.
- A dental implant prevents the bone resorption that otherwise occurs at the site of a tooth extraction.
The Dental Implant Procedure
First, the root form is placed in the bone. Ordinarily, we need to allow a healing period for the bone to integrate into the root form to where it is strong enough to support a tooth.
After sufficient healing time has occurred, a dental crown is placed over the root form fixture.
You can see on the right how natural the end result looks. Not only will your new implant look like a real tooth, it will feel and act like one, because it is the closest thing dentists can do to replicating an actual tooth.
To learn more about this process, please visit our dental implants page.
A Dental Bridge
A Dental Implant
Before-and-after photographs of a dental implant
case by Dr. Hylan. Notice how the tooth that
was replaced looks completely natural.
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