Last week, my Uncle Rich asked how to replace a missing molar tooth. Our discussion was about the pros and cons of both choices.
Twenty years ago, the only reliable choice to replace the tooth would have been with a bridge. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are prepared for crowns and an impression is taken. Two weeks later, the lab returns the bridge, which is cemented in place.
Dental Bridge Pros:
- Relatively quick solution and lower cost than an implant
Dental Bridge Cons:
- More difficult to clean and therefore more prone to failure
- With a bridge it is often more difficult to obtain a good esthetic result
Dental Implant Pros:
With an implant the results are now very predictable. Success rates in the 90-95% range are the norm.
- Better esthetics and more natural appearance
- Easier to clean, therefore less prone to failure
- They look and feel like a natural tooth
Dental Implant Cons:
- More expensive and a longer procedure from start to finish
- Several months are required for healing and fabrication of the implant
So, which is best? Every case is different. Gather all the information available to make an informed choice.