One of the most common challenges our patients face is how to deal with a missing tooth. Each scenario is unique and may have several acceptable treatment options. The most common single tooth replacement options are
1) Dental Implant
2) 3-unit Bridge
The decision to choose one treatment option over the other typically depend on the following issues.
- Are the adjacent teeth in need of restoration or are they healthy?
- Would a grafting procedure be necessary in order to place an implant? If there is inadequate bone width and/or depth to accommodate an implant, a bone grafting procedure should be performed in order to build a solid foundation before proceeding with implant placement.
- Is timing a concern? A bridge can be completed in a matter of just a few weeks, whereas an implant restoration is usually a staged procedure which involves a surgical phase, a healing period of 3-6 months, and a restorative phase for delivery of the crown, which totals 8-12 months of treatment time from the time of extraction to the time of restoration of the tooth.
- Is cost a concern? In our office, the cost difference between a 3-unit bridge and implant is negligible. However, if you require any additional procedures such as a bone graft, then the implant option would cost more than a 3-unit bridge. Most insurances cover either treatment option at 50%. Our insurance specialists are very capable, and will help to maximize your insurance benefits. They can also help you to learn of alternative means of financing your treatment, such as CareCredit.