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skeith

Dental Implant vs. bridge

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I recently had a tooth pulled and now must make a choice between these two.

Anyone have any experience with dental implants or with this choice?

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Oooooooooooh, and ouch, too ... loooooong story here ... got an implant on one of my two dead upper front teeth ... turned out to be much worse "inside" (damaged bone) than expected and visible on x-rays. Operations and all went fine, and I'm trusting my dentist .... but the surrounding work (trying to fill in missing "bone" material around the implant's foundation - sorry, I totally don't know any of the correct terms for all of this!) has been going on for more than a year and no end in sight (I've had three operations trying to fix the façade, so to speak, adding bone material and fixing the gums ... not that it got worse, but it didn't help too much either, and it gets more and more difficult as the gums get more damaged by the on-going cutting and stuffing ...)

As it's right in front, I guess an implant is the better-looking variant, but then I think my dentist (who's long started paying the bills for all this, it was on insurance initially) might propose to do a bridge because it would have been easier under the unexpectedly difficult circumstances.

Anyway, the implant itself, I've gotten used to it ... it's much stiffer, less flexible, than the "real" teeth around it and that took a while getting used to. I just wish the surroundings will be fixed at the next attempt (to be started shortly).

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Oooooooooooh, and ouch, too ... loooooong story here ... got an implant on one of my two dead upper front teeth ... turned out to be much worse "inside" (damaged bone) than expected and visible on x-rays. Operations and all went fine, and I'm trusting my dentist .... but the surrounding work (trying to fill in missing "bone" material around the implant's foundation - sorry, I totally don't know any of the correct terms for all of this!) has been going on for more than a year and no end in sight (I've had three operations trying to fix the façade, so to speak, adding bone material and fixing the gums ... not that it got worse, but it didn't help too much either, and it gets more and more difficult as the gums get more damaged by the on-going cutting and stuffing ...)

As it's right in front, I guess an implant is the better-looking variant, but then I think my dentist (who's long started paying the bills for all this, it was on insurance initially) might propose to do a bridge because it would have been easier under the unexpectedly difficult circumstances.

Anyway, the implant itself, I've gotten used to it ... it's much stiffer, less flexible, than the "real" teeth around it and that took a while getting used to. I just wish the surroundings will be fixed at the next attempt (to be started shortly).

oh man( Edited by Serioza

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Got to add that the pain is very manageable, mostly gone for good after one, maximum two days (and of course you get painkillers, heavy ones, that also help uhm ... the dictionary give me the word "detumescence" but I can't make a sensible phrase out of it ... you know what I mean).

My other (upper) front tooth is still in there, but it's dead and has a crown on top - still, it feels very different from the entirely "strange" implant (when you touch it with a finger, when you accidentally hit against it with a fork etc. ... not done much saxophone playing since, I bet that one would bite straight through the plastic mouthpiece!) ... but as I said, after about a year, I've gotten very much used to that.

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When I had a tooth pulled a few years ago, I had the same choice - and actually, there are three choices, not two. I had my gap left as it was; obviously the cheapest option and also the least complicated. Of course, it wasn't exactly at the front; fourth from the centre. If it had been, I'd probably have taken one of your options Skeith.

Price is a good way of deciding, in my view. How much you want to spend making your mouth looking OK is a very pointed question.

MG

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Funny you should bring this up, as I just got back from the dentist this morning, and have the same situation on my hands. I lost a tooth over Thanksgiving; actually a crown on a tooth that had a root canal.

Dentistry has become something of a racket these days, with dentists trying to sell the most expensive products, so it's hard to get a truly impartial medical opinion from them.

Anyway, the implant will be actually anchored into your gum/jaw line. This is the most expensive procedure (maybe $5,000, depending on where you are and insurance). The bridge is not actually implanted into your gum/jaw, but held in place by the teeth on either side. This might entail some reworking of those teeth. Cost is about half of the implant. I'm concerned about what happens if something goes wrong with the anchoring teeth. Also, if the teeth on either side have crowns those have to be taken out. Both will probably require an extraction or root canal first.

I think age, finances, cosmetic issues, pain/discomfort are all part of the equation. I declined all the options, since my tooth (really crown) fell out clean, it's not infected, and is not visible. It's just a blank space. Hope this helped and good luck.

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I think age, finances, cosmetic issues, pain/discomfort are all part of the equation. I declined all the options, since my tooth (really crown) fell out clean, it's not infected, and is not visible. It's just a blank space. Hope this helped and good luck.

No - you took the same option I did; doing nothing is still a positive decision.

MG

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I think age, finances, cosmetic issues, pain/discomfort are all part of the equation. I declined all the options, since my tooth (really crown) fell out clean, it's not infected, and is not visible. It's just a blank space. Hope this helped and good luck.

No - you took the same option I did; doing nothing is still a positive decision.

MG

Yeah, that's a better way to think about it or to put it.

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I think age, finances, cosmetic issues, pain/discomfort are all part of the equation. I declined all the options, since my tooth (really crown) fell out clean, it's not infected, and is not visible. It's just a blank space. Hope this helped and good luck.

No - you took the same option I did; doing nothing is still a positive decision.

MG if only one and not in front

Edited by Serioza

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I think age, finances, cosmetic issues, pain/discomfort are all part of the equation. I declined all the options, since my tooth (really crown) fell out clean, it's not infected, and is not visible. It's just a blank space. Hope this helped and good luck.

No - you took the same option I did; doing nothing is still a positive decision.

MG indeed if only one and not in front

Well, doing nothing is ALWAYS an option. If you're broke, it may be the only one.

MG

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I lost several teeth to filling breakages and after due consideration with my dentist went for the implant option. Although it costs $ and takes a good 6 months- 1 year with all of the preparatory work, it turned out to be a good move for me. They feel to me like 'real' teeth, although strictly speaking they are equivalent to dentures and require the care and attention of dentures. If the job is done well, looking at them you wouldn't know they are not real teeth - although the differences in the gum line are noticeable. In other words - not an issue ! There are two key rules to ensuring good implants (a) pick the best possible dentist to do the job and don't be tempted by overseas discount options as follow-up checks and after-care are important (b) get them done as soon as possible after the extraction to ensure best possible fusing and to avoid impact of the gums receding (best of all is to get the dentist to do the extraction and 'prep' the tooth for implant at the same time). Also, allow reasonable time between having the implants placed in-situ and installing the crowns. 4-6 months is the usual recommended duration to ensure good healing.

Incredibly, didn't feel a thing during the work itself. In fact, less painful all round than getting a standard filling done, which was a nice suprise (although they really dose you up on painkillers and you may get a black eye the day afterwards due to the work done on your jaw). The stitches come out after about a week.

Sorry to hear about your bone graft problems, King Ubu. One of mine required that additional treatment (sort of like extra packing) when they put the implant in too - has worked out fine so far. It's an essential measure if there isn't enough healthy bone material in the affected area to effectively secure/fuse the implant.

So far I haven't set off any alarms with my mouth full of titanium.. :g

Edited by sidewinder

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Short answer.. I had the same choice and went with the implant 5-7 years ago. Have not had a single problem with that tooth. Very glad I did it.

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The gap option wasn't one for me, alas, as it's straight front and even if I don't play the saxophone at this time too often, if at all, I'd have *hated* the idea to never ever be able to do so ... (or to having to find some way to play it off centre).

And yes, 4-6 months is indeed the time frame ... it was a bit longer with me since the damage in the jaw bone was much worse that expected ... and in those months I had the old crown glued in ... and guess what, it fell out many times, and that really sucked big time ... even once when we had my birthday dinner in a restaurant ... dammit! Glad that part is done over with.

And I'm sure if it's not right out front, having a "normal" feeling for the implants will be much faster. With me, with all the on-going work, it felt like my mouth was rotting for over a year, rather digusting, but there was nothing I could do about it other than to accept and be patient so that's what I usually tried to do.

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After bone grafts months ago which are slowly taking form (should get the OK next month to move on) I have a front tooth that I'll probably get an implant.

My crappy dental insurance won't pay a penny towards it. 2 other teeth were extracted at the time as well, and not sure what route to take, but I'm leaning towards something I have some coverage on and don't have to come 100% out of pocket.

Edited by Mike Schwartz

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Just in case ... it's accident insurance that pays (part of) the costs in my case ... skateboarding accident twenty some years ago ...

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Have had one implant, after an old tooth that had had a root canal job some years before developed new nastiness down below, which could not be ignored. Had the old tooth extracted, got the nastiness cleaned out, went the implant route. No problems, and it's been about three years now IIRC. Also, IIRC the whole process involved almost no discomfort. Once they insert into your jaw the metal post that will anchor the implant, you do have to wait some time (several months?) before the implant can be put in place, but you do have something temporary sitting there that's satisfactory enough.

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thanks Larry.

Also for those in the US who had this done.... does insurance cover these implants?

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thanks Larry.

Also for those in the US who had this done.... does insurance cover these implants?

Mine.....not 1 penny!

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thanks Larry.

Also for those in the US who had this done.... does insurance cover these implants?

It didn't for me. IIRC dental insurance is in a separate bag from (if you're of that age) Medicare and whatever supplemental medical insurance you may have. That is, you have to purchase dental insurance separately from medical insurance. As to whether dental insurance is worth it, I'll bet that the fees for it are such that it's close to a toss up; that's the way the insurance industry works. OTOH, if you have good reason to think that you're going to have significant dental problems, I'd look into it.

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