It has been well established that dental implants are a better solution than classic tooth replacement techniques, such as bridges or mobile prostheses. But why is that? Let’s find out what are implants’ main advantages, why so many people choose them, and also why their prices are higher than those of other techniques.
Firstly, let’s see what an implant is made of. The implant itself is shaped as a screw that gets inserted in the jawbone; an element that sits on the implant serves as a link to the prosthesis and is called an abutment. The prosthesis, being usually a crown closes the whole system. All the components are manufactured from highly tolerable and long-lasting materials, such as titanium for the implants and ceramics for the crowns. This makes implants long-lasting, permanent, and immovable. In cases of damage, usually occurring to the crown, it can be easily replaced.
Implants vs. bridges
The biggest advantage of implants with respect to bridges is that they do not damage the surrounding teeth, on the contrary, they will help them keep their correct position. To understand it better we need to know how a bridge is installed. In fact, this is the major negativity of bridges, as they are hooked to adjacent, healthy teeth. To do so, the dentist will file the teeth rendering them supports for the bridge. So, if the adjacent teeth are healthy they will get compromised by filing and become supports for the bridge, while if they are damaged, the dentist will try to cure them and then go through with the filing process.
Thus, the biggest disadvantage of this technique is that it harms perfectly healthy teeth to replace missing ones, while if no healthy tooth is available to support the bridge, the whole procedure can get very long and complex.
The second advantage is the durability of the structure, which in bridges is much lower. Also, home hygiene is easier with implants.
Lastly, implants will preserve teeth’s health avoiding their movements towards the empty space in the jaw, but will also help to maintain bone volume.
Total tooth loss possibilities
In this case, a solution with implants is far better than other prosthesis possibilities. Firstly, there are several possibilities that depend on the number of implants: two, four, or more. These can then carry fixed or mobile prostheses. In any case, fixed prothesis solutions are better at preventing bone loss and gums retraction, offering a truly durable system and minimizing any inconvenience to the patient.
Nevertheless, mobile solutions on implants are also preferable to classic solutions; the denture is in fact more stable, which adds comfort and tolerability, making the patient more confident.
Let’s summarize the pros and cons of the analyzed systems. The implant, an innovative solution, is ideal to replace the loss of one or more teeth, even in the case of total tooth loss. Because of the materials used, the surgical procedure, and the need to manufacture a superstructure (ie. crown), this solution is also more expensive.
On the other hand, bridges and mobile prostheses are a valid options to correct tooth loss, even more so if the patient suffers from severe bone loss or has other health issues.