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Crowns, Bridges and Implants: What Option Does a General Dentist Recommend?
When a tooth becomes lost or damaged, a visit to the general dentist should be made promptly in order to avoid infection, bone loss or even malocclusion down the road. Most dental patients have several options to choose from when it comes to repairing or replacing permanent teeth. Depending on the extent of the damage and the patient's overall oral health, the dentist will most likely recommend a crown, bridge or implant for treatment.
The differences among bridges, implants and crowns
When a tooth is severely damaged but still salvageable, a dental crown is often the preferred course of action. A crown is a realistic, permanent covering that is cemented over the affected tooth once it has been repaired.
However, if a tooth comes out completely or must be extracted, a bridge or implant is needed. Bridges are dental devices that are fixed to adjacent permanent teeth to secure a replacement tooth. A dental implant involves inserting a small metal rod into the gumline to fuse with the jawbone. Once healed, a replacement tooth is attached to the rod.
Choosing an appropriate treatment plan
There are several factors to consider when a general dentist recommends a treatment plan for injured or missing teeth. Budget, aesthetic preferences and the longevity of the treatment must be considered, along with a tolerance for dental work and the severity of the situation.
Dental crowns are relatively common procedures for patients of various ages. This solution is appropriate for those whose damaged tooth is still substantially above the gumline and strong at the root. The remaining healthy tooth is ground to a basic shape to help support the replacement covering securely. Crowns are typically affordable for patients, recovery is prompt and the covering usually lasts around ten years with proper care.
Patients looking for a long-lasting and more realistic solution to a lost or extracted tooth may choose to have a dental implant installed. A titanium rod is surgically inserted where the tooth's root was located and heals for several weeks before a realistic replacement is attached. This procedure usually costs a little more, but many patients and dentists believe the results are worth the investment.
Bridges are considered a more affordable solution for a missing tooth. The teeth on either side of the gap are given crowns which hold the synthetic tooth in place. This form of treatment utilizes a less invasive installation procedure, which is preferable for some patients. However, the results are not always as natural-looking and may likely need replacement more often than dental implants. Still, bridges are commonly used and considered safe and effective for most individuals.
Ignoring lost or damaged teeth could result in painful complications. It is important to immediately see a general dentist, who will likely recommend a crown, bridge or implant to address the situation. This dental professional can assist the patient in choosing the proper treatment plan, based on individual needs and preferences, to ultimately result in a healthy and satisfactory smile restoration.
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