Dental implants vs bridge is a question many patients are faced with when attempting to replace a lost tooth or multiple teeth. The traditional dental bridge was the main dental procedure used by dentists for a very long time to replace missing teeth. As dental implants have become popular due to long term success rates the traditional dental bridge has become in many people’s mind the lessor alternative. Dental implants vs bridge is an interesting scenario as they both achieve the same thing but in different ways. The dental implants vs bridge debate is one that many of us will face in our lives. Below are some facts about both to help with your decision.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Procedure
Steps For A Dental Bridge
During the first visit to your dentist for the fabrication of a dental bridge, the teeth surrounding the missing tooth are prepared to accept a dental crown. The preparation involves removing the outer layer of teeth to allow for a dental crown to be placed over top them. Next, dental impressions of the teeth are taken, which give the dental lab technician a precise dental model from which the dental bridge, pontic (fake tooth between the dental crowns), and dental crowns will be fabricated. Your dentist will create a temporary dental bridge for you to wear to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the dental bridge is being made. This generally takes about 2 weeks.
At the second visit, your temporary bridge will be removed, the temporary cement will be cleaned off the teeth, and the new porcelain or metal bridge will be checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve an ideal fit. Depending on how extensive the dental bridge is multiple visits may be needed to check the fit of the metal framework and ensure the bite is correct. This is dependent on each individual’s case as metal can distort as well as teeth moving ever so slightly during time in between visits. If the fit is acceptable to the dentist, the dental bridge will then be cemented permanently in place. In the discussion of dental implants vs bridge, a traditional bridge is placed in only one way (cemented) while a dental implant can be placed in 2 different ways (screw retained or cemented).
Steps For A Dental Implant
-Initial Consultation. At this initial appointment, your dentist will complete a thorough dental examination, including all necessary x rays, and then take dental impressions of your teeth. After your dentist gathers all the necessary preliminary information, your dentist will talk with you about the recommended treatment plan. You may also discuss at this time whether or not there is a need for a bone graft. At this visit, you can ask about the dental implants vs bridge discussion. Your dentist will happily review the positives and negatives with you.
-Bone Grafting And Teeth Removal. If the tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist will evaluate the bone density and quality and decide if a bone graft is necessary. The bone graft will add 4-6 months generally to the time line. This extra time gives your bone time to heal properly and add the new bone structure.
-Dental Implant Placement. Once healing has taken place you will be ready for the dental implant placement. The procedure generally takes about 1-2 hours and completed under anesthesia. Once the dental implant is placed, you will need approximately 6 months for healing to take place and the dental implant to integrate into the bone (this process is called osseointegration).
-Healing Cap And Temporary Dental Crown. With the dental implant fully integrated in the bone, your dentist will attach what is called a healing collar to the top of the dental implant. This healing collar will allow the gum tissue to form around the implant in a natural looking way. The healing collar is simply a round piece of metal that keeps the gum tissue away from top of implant. The healing cap stays on for about 7-14 days. In some cases a temporary dental crown is fabricated as well at this visit.
-Abutment Placement. The healing cap will be removed and a dental implant abutment will be replace it. This abutment will be where the new dental crown will attach (either thru a screw or cement). Once the abutment is in place, your dentist will take a dental impression and send it off to the dental laboratory for fabrication of your new dental crown.
-Permanent Dental Crown Placement.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Maintenance
This is where a dental implant will shine in the debate of dental implants vs bridge. A single dental implant will be cleaned just like your natural teeth. This means you can floss around the tooth just like a natural tooth. A dental bridge since it is one longer piece encompassing multiple teeth you will not be able to use regular floss. You will need to use what is called a floss threader. This will allow you to get under each part of the dental bridge and effectively clean around the areas of the dental bridge. This can be an issue for some patients with dexterity issues.
The dental implant will require more time (at least 6-7 months in best case) to allow for each step to be completed and healed properly. The dental implant tends to cost more overall especially if bone grafting is involved. In my opinion, dental implants vs bridge cost will be up to the patient. Time in some cases is just as important as the financial factor.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Pros And Cons
-Surrounding Teeth Unaffected.
-Success Rate And Durability. Dental implants should with proper care last a lifetime and have a better than 98% success rate.
-Bone Loss Prevention. With a dental implant in place, your bone structure will remain as is and not resorb or break down. This is what happens when a tooth is missing in an area of the mouth
Dental Implant Negatives
-Surgery Required. A big negative in the dental implants vs bridge debate. This is especially true of those with dental phobia.
-Healing Time Needed. As mentioned above a minimum of 6-7 months are needed in the best case scenario to complete a dental implant procedure from start to finish.
-Financial Expense. There is generally a slightly higher fee for a single dental implant vs bridge and could go even higher if other procedures are needed like a bone graft.
Dental Bridge Positives
-Permanent. The dental bridge will be cemented in place and will never be removed to clean unless your dentist finds an issue.
-Simpler and Quicker Dental Procedure. Generally takes only 2 dental visits and can usually be completed in about 2 weeks time. This can be a huge positive for many in the dental implants vs bridge discussion.
Dental Bridge Negatives
-Dental Hygiene More Difficult. With a dental bridge, you must brush and floss under and around the false tooth. Using floss threader as mentioned above may be difficult for some. Dental hygiene maintenance is a must if there is any chance of long term success for a dental bridge.
-Lifespan Shorter. A dental bridge generally lasts about 7-10 years. Some dental bridges can last longer and some can fail sooner. This is due to the wear and tear on adjacent teeth (these teeth remain susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Either tooth decay or periodontal disease can weaken support for the dental bridge.
-Surrounding Teeth Affected. A dental bridge requires support from the surrounding teeth that are used to hold the artificial tooth in place. If these teeth are not strong enough to have dental crowns, a dental bridge might not even be possible.
Dental Implants Vs Bridge Conclusion
Choosing dental implants vs bridge can be a difficult decision. Your dentist will help guide you through the process and help you make an educated dental implants vs bridge decision that is best for your smile. It is important to maintain regular dental visits no matter which side you choose in the dental implants vs bridge decision.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist – Which To Choose?
There are many misconceptions between dental specialties as the lines become blurred. Many services that were only done by specialists are now routine in a family dental office. These procedure include dental implants, root canal therapy, and orthodontics. A family dentist vs orthodontist begin with same basic training in dental school and then the paths diverge following graduation from dental school. Read below for further clarification on dentist vs orthodontist.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Education And Training
Following 4 years of dental school, a dentist has multiple paths to go forward into their future career. They can enter private practice or they can complete a dental residency for advanced training or they can go on to further schooling to specialize in a particular specialty branch of dentistry. These specialties can include oral surgery, periodontics, or orthodontics.
Those who choose to specialize will apply to graduate programs in the field of their choice. Between 6 and 8% of all dental school graduates go on to become orthodontists. Orthodontic training continues from the basics learned in dental school and narrows the focus to a branch of dentistry dealing with irregularities of the teeth (such as malocclusion) and their correction (as by braces). That definition comes directly from Merriam Webster. Both are extremely important to ensure your mouth functions properly when eating and chewing. If your teeth are crooked or your jaws are misaligned this can cause digestive problems and dental hygiene issues, such as gingivitis (gum disease). It can also make it difficult to clean your teeth properly.The extended training takes between 2-3 years and adds about 5,000 hours of orthodontic training. Orthodontists have many techniques and dental materials at their disposal to help them move the teeth and jaws into proper alignment, including traditional braces, lingual braces (attached on inside of teeth) and clear aligners (like Invisalign), among other orthodontic appliances. Because every patient has their own unique alignment issues, orthodontists use X-rays and pictures of the teeth to create personalized treatment plans. These plans can be simple to very extensive depending on the issues with your smile.
Family dentists treat patients’ overall oral and dental health. Through routine checkups, dentists can detect and treat cavities, periodontal disease, and oral hygiene problems, and they can also extract teeth as necessary. Dentists also can improve the function and cosmetic appearance of teeth with the following services: tooth bonding, porcelain or composite veneers or dental crowns to teeth that are broken, chipped, misshapen or have been affected severely by tooth decay. Your dentist will also evaluate the tissues inside your mouth for signs of oral diseases (such as oral cancer) and gives advice on how to maintain your oral health. If your dentist notices a problem beyond the scope of their education, they will refer you to a dental specialist or physician as they see fit. An orthodontist is one of those specialists your dentist may refer you to for further treatment.
Choosing Between Dentist Vs Orthodontist
When choosing dentist vs orthodontist there will be some overlap between dental services offered. Many family dentists will also offer some orthodontic services to their patients. Orthodontists are only able to offer services that fall under their specialty. A dentist can perform orthodontics but an orthodontist cannot treat periodontal disease or fabricate a dental crown. This is a major difference in the dentist vs orthodontist debate.
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Treatments Offered
Family dentist services can include but not limited to the following:
-Treatment and Restoration of Tooth decay
-Root Canal Therapy
-Treatment of Periodontal Disease
-Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges
-Porcelain and Composite Veneers
-Dental Implants (placement and restoration)
Orthodontists provide services related to:
Dentist Vs Orthodontist Conclusion
A dentist should be your go to for all your dental needs. An orthodontist will be necessary when your dentist decides treatment behind their scope is needed. An orthodontist is someone you will see for a fairly short time while a dentist will be someone you will see for a lifetime to maintain healthy teeth and gum tissues. The dentist vs orthodontist question is not a battle but a partnership. They work hand in hand to deliver high quality dental care to their patients.
Dental implants cost can vary greatly from patient to patient. Dental implants cost will be based on highly variable items. Dental implants are a highly customized procedure and based on factors that present from patient can add or deduct from dental implants cost. No two patients in dentistry will ever be the same in terms of procedures performed or the cost of the procedures. Dentistry is highly customized to give every patient the best smile for not only their function but also for cosmetics.
Factors Contributing To Dental Implants Cost
-One or Two Step Process.
One Step Dental Implants: Same day dental implant procedures can be done for some patients. This can include the all on 4 dental implants procedure. Same day vs multiple visits does not have as great an impact on dental implants cost as some of the factors below.
Two Step Dental Implants: This dental implants procedure requires multiple dental surgeries and is often recommended the best option for people who do not have proper bone density to fully support dental implants immediately. The dental implants are placed in the jawbone and are covered by gum tissue while fully healing. This allows bone to integrate (called osseointegration) around the dental implant, creating a far stronger support for the crowns with better long term prognosis. A second dental visit is required to add the abutment and crown. Today, this is more common than the one step version. Again dental implants cost depends on additional procedures to rise or fall.
-Possible Pre Surgery Testing. This can include an MRI or X rays to gather a clear view of the jaws, nerves, and surrounding structures. This is not routine for most patients but can add significantly to dental implants cost.
-Number Of Teeth Being Replaced. If it is a single dental implant that will have a different dental implants cost then if it was multiple teeth. Now if it was a whole mouth restoration like an all on 4 dental implants process that will have an even higher dental implants cost.
-Location Of Teeth Being Replaced. Different dental materials are used in different areas of the mouth which will add or deduct from dental implants cost. A dental implant crown in front of your mouth will be made from a different material from one in back. This is due to the cosmetics as well as function. A molar tooth in back will need to be stronger than one in front to absorb all the forces while chewing. There is also the angle of the teeth being replaced. No every situation is ideal and this has led to development of different dental materials to accomodate those who need different angulation. This too will drive up the dental implants cost due to it being more complex and requiring special parts or modifications.
-Are Extractions of Teeth Needed? This will also add to the overall dental implants cost.
-Density Of Existing Bone. Adequate amount and quality of bone is necessary for long term success of dental implants. If you have low bone density you still may be a candidate for dental implants but you would require extra time and procedures for this to occur. The addition of a bone graft (to fill in bone and raise bone density) or a sinus augmentation will raise the dental implants cost as well.
-Overall Dental Health. Patients suffering from periodontal disease or other oral diseases will need dental treatment prior to considering dental implants. These procedures can range from periodontal flap surgery to extensive professional cleaning and debridement of periodontal tissues. This will also drive up dental implants cost.
Payment Options To Help With Dental Implants Cost
Many insurance companies will now subsidize dental implants cost. They have recognized it as a proven procedure with little risk to their bottom line. If yours does not offer this coverage, consider calling them and see if they will give you an allowance towards dental implants cost in lieu of a traditional dental bridge or removable dentures.
Third Party Financing – Many dentists use in house financing options. A good example of this is called Care Credit. This will allow you to borrow money to pay for dental implants cost.
In Office Financing – Some dentists will allow payment plans for dental treatment to spread out the dental implants cost over time. Speak to your dentist if this is an option for you.
Is Dental Implants Cost A Major Factor In Choosing Dentist
Dental implants cost or any dental cost can be a major factor in choosing a dentist for you and your family. However, choosing the right dentist will save you money over time and treatment will be correct the first time it is done. It is important to find an experienced implant dentist when looking at dental implants as an option.
What if you see an ad in local paper with exceptionally low prices for dental implants? Consider, do these dental implant prices sound too good to be true? You know what they say about something sounding too good to be real. The key is to ask the right questions of an implant dentist you know you can trust. As mentioned above there are many factors that go into dental implants cost. Does the low price include bone augmentation, soft tissue treatment, extraction? Ask if the crown is manufactured locally if there is an issue, what the size of the implant is, and even what material the final dental crown is made of. Not all dental crowns use the proper metals for long term success. Your dentist will be happy to answer your questions because an informed patient is the best patient.
Dental Implants Cost Conclusion
Dental implants can be very difficult to price due to them not being locked into a single dental procedure. The initial step is to surgically place the titanium dental implant into the jaw where the tooth or teeth are missing. This dental implant surgery could be simple or could require more extensive additional treatments such as a sinus lift or bone graft. Once the bone around the dental implant has healed sufficiently, an abutment can be screwed into the dental implant and then a crown can be cemented or screwed into the abutment. The whole process can be incredibly simple or quick or very complicated depending upon a number of individual factors explained above. Ask your dentist about dental implants cost and they can give you a better idea of what your treatment cost would look like.
Blood thinners are prescription medications taken by many dental patients. Blood thinners are used in medicine to prevent potentially fatal blood clots. Blood clots can lead to stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or pulmonary embolism (PE). These blood thinners prevent clotting they cause a possible danger to dental procedures that may cause bleeding. The lifesaving benefits of these drugs very often outweigh the potential dangers they can have for you.
How Does Blood Clotting Work In The Body?
There are two main processes by which the body forms a blood clot normally. The first process involves platelets (small blood cells) which goto the site of a wound and clump together to form a plug which slows the flow of blood through the vessel and forms a covering to begin the healing process. The next phase of the process is called coagulation when proteins in the blood bind with each other to fill in the gaps between the platelets, stabilize the clot formation, and make it more solid until bleeding stops.
Medicines Used As Blood Thinners
There are 2 types of blood thinners. They are as follows:
-Antiplatelet - These blood thinners include aspirin, Ticlid (ticlopidine), and Plavix (clopidogrel). These medicines target the initial phase of the clot process by preventing platelets from binding to the blood vessel walls or to one another. Aspirin is a good example of how these medicines act on the body. The mechanism by which Aspirin achieves this is by creating permanent changes in the platelets which last throughout the lifetime of the platelet (approximately 7-10 days). This can only be reversed once the body produces new platelets that have not yet been exposed to Aspirin.
-Anticoagulant - These blood thinners include Coumadin (warfarin). Coumadin works by inhibiting the second phase of blood clotting by blocking production or the function of proteins that stabilize the clot (also called anticoagulation). For Coumadin, it generally takes several days after the beginning the medication for it to reach its full anticoagulation effect, and then again several days after the medication is stopped for the anticoagulation effect to cease. Many foods and other medications can affect coumadin by either increasing or decreasing its effectiveness. Your physician will need to frequently monitor to check your level of anticoagulation activity. Newer anticoagulants have come to market and these include Pradaxa (dabigatran), Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Eliquis (apixaban). These medications have an advantage over coumadin in that they do not need as long a time as coumadin to reach their full anticoagulation effect, and also to stop that effect when discontinued. The downside is their anticoagulation activity cannot be monitored as easily as it is for coumadin. Another medication, Lovenox (enoxaparin), is used in prevention of pulmonary embolism (PE) and Deep vein Thrombosis (DVT). These blood thinners are given through self-injection.
Dentist Preparations For Blood Thinners
Generally, bleeding from dental procedures is fairly easy to control and bring to a stop, even in patients who are taking these blood thinner type medications. It is important to note that both the effect of these medicines on blood clotting and the potential for bleeding from dental procedures can vary quite a bit from individual to individual. So each patient must be considered individually based on their clotting factor and the dental procedure being performed. A consultation with the patient and their physician can lead to a change in dose prior to dental procedure or even stopping the medication altogether to complete the dental work.
It is very important for those on blood thinner medications to communicate with your dentist regarding medical history. Your dentist will ask you to provide a complete medical history including:
-All medical conditions (including heart disease, irregular heartbeat, stroke, liver disease, kidney disease, and/or history of blood clots)
-All medications currently being taken. Not just blood thinners but all medications. This is important because they could interact with what your dentist is using as well.
-Treating physician information
-Reason for taking blood thinners
-Anticipated time that you will be on blood thinners
-The results of your monitoring of the effects of these agents (blood test results)
-Any issues that have arisen with your blood thinners.
Your dentist may ask to run some tests prior to your dental treatment and call your physician before attempting to do the dental procedure(s). Your dentist may ask to do the dental procedure in one of 3 ways:
-Continue taking blood thinners as normal with no changes.
-Alter the dose or type of blood thinners for a short period of time
-Stop the blood thinners prior to the dental procedure.
Precautions may also be taken by your dentist before, during and after the dental procedure to reduce the chances of significant oral bleeding. It is important to not that you should never discontinue or change your blood thinners or dose without the advice of your physician and dentist. It is also important to be aware that over the counter medications such as Motrin, Advil and Aleve, can also increase the anti platelet effects. Additionally “non-traditional” medications can interfere with, or increase the effects of your anticoagulant medications.
Dental Procedures With Bleeding Risks
The following procedures are the ones most linked to increased bleeding.
-Professional teeth cleaning (also referred to as dental prophylaxis)
-Scaling and root planning (also referred to as a deep teeth cleaning)
-Dental implant placement
Blood Thinners Conclusion
Being on blood thinners comes with many benefits but also some risks. We can minimize these risks at least on the dental side by communicating properly to have your dental procedures completed safely and successfully. Remember, to maintain a regular dental hygiene and dental examination schedule for a healthy smile.