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FAQ:  Implants


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Question:
Should I get Implants or a Bridge? I'm 21 and I am missing my top two second incisors, which never came in.

I got my braces taken off a year ago, but my dentist doesn't believe his patients should get implants because he says many people have serious problems after the procedure.

My teeth are in healthy condition and I would prefer implants. What are the negative aspects of doing so and how long does the process take? Currently, I have a plate with two teeth I got from the orthodontist which fills the space. If the procedure must be done over time, is this space left open and visible? ... Visitor from IL

Answer:
If there is sufficient bone remaining dental implants are the optimal way to restore congenitally missing incisors. I agree with your concerns regarding grinding down the adjacent healthy teeth to accommodate a bridge. Implants are a very predictable safe procedure.

Grinding down a healthy tooth at a young age can result in destroying the nerve of the tooth. This can result in root canal therapy. Fifty percent of bridges fail after 12 years. At 21 one years of age this bridge would have to be replaced several times during your lifetime. Each time the bridge is replaced additional tooth structure is removed.

The initial costs for implans are slightly higher than placing bridges. Dental implants can last the life of the patient however and if properly cared for, are substantially less than a bridge.

You would never be without front teeth. Depending on the remaining bone the implants may be able to be placed and provisional crowns secured the same day. The final crowns would be placed in six months.

The standard level of care in your case is placement of implants not bridges.

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