Until recent decades, a dental bridge was the standard solution for patients who were missing one or several teeth. While they are designed to look and feel natural, as well as be long lasting, a dental bridge has many drawbacks. Today, dentists are recognizing the importance of a more conservative and permanent treatment for missing teeth and are turning to dental implants as the solution.
Philadelphia dentist, Dr. Pamela G. Doray has been working with dental implants for over 20 years. “A traditional dental bridge may be a bridge to nowhere,” says Dr. Doray. “For most patients, dental implants are the preferred method of treatment because they preserve bone in the jaw, can be flossed easily, do not get cavities and function the same as natural teeth.”
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) estimates that most dental bridges fail within ten years. The primary reason for bridgework failure is that decay tends to form around the margins of the support teeth. “We typically see decay on the root surfaces below and around bridgework. It is usually impossible to repair marginal decay, so we must replace the entire bridge,” explains Dr. Doray.
Dr. Doray goes on to add that the process for replacing the bridge may even involve extracting the teeth that supported the old bridge. As a result, the patient has not only to deal with the original missing teeth, but the newly missing teeth as well.
A dental implant replaces the actual root of the missing tooth. This allows the prosthetic tooth to function the same as a natural tooth and better preserve the bone in the jaw. Dental implants can be used to replace one, several or an entire set of missing teeth.
Dr. Doray uses the latest computer guided technology to aid in dental implant restoration. This technology has made the procedure faster, more comfortable and highly predictable. Dental implants have a 97-percent success rate, the highest among all types of dental restorations.
“For patients who are missing one or more teeth and considering a dental bridge or for patients who need to replace existing bridgework, we strongly encourage them to explore the option of dental implants,” says Dr. Doray. “Implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry. The level of patient satisfaction with their implant restorations is unmatched.”