The Dental Implant Treatment Alternatives in Las Vegas
Traditional Fixed Bridge
A traditional bridge involves grinding down two or more teeth next to the empty spaces to support the bridge. It provides good esthetics and function and is fairly easy to for most dentists to do. However, this alternative has some very significant disadvantages that create more problems and costs later. One is the sacrificing of healthy tooth structure from the teeth next to the spaces to make room for the bridge. The damage and heat that occurs due to “grinding” of the two teeth along with the excessive pressures applied to the remaining teeth during chewing over several years almost always results in more long term tooth loss.
Summary of Bridge Disadvantages
- Excessive physical stresses on support teeth
- Must grind/shave down support teeth
- High risk of decay
- High risk of root canal
- High risk of root fracture
- High risk of more tooth loss
- Jaw bone erodes where tooth is missing losing face support
Removable Partial Denture (Flipper)
This is not a permanent alternative to a lost tooth. It is very unstable and loosely attached, which makes it less comfortable and ineffective for eating. The only benefit is that it is easily and quickly installed and relatively cheap. Most often this is used as “temporary” or “healing” teeth while permanent dental care is being performed.
The risks from this device are:
- Supporting teeth have more looseness and tooth loss from stress
- High risk of decay, bone loss, and tooth loss from both problems
- Food collects beneath the partial
- Accelerates jaw bone destruction
Bonded (Maryland) Bridge
Metal wings are bonded to the adjacent teeth providing a good temporary solution while healing. This procedure has a very poor long term success rate and will not work in the back chewing areas of the mouth.
This partial denture alternative is often perceived as uncomfortable and complicated to use. Function can not be compared to that the implant teeth replacement. This denture is made of plastic and metal, which is often unsightly and embarrassing.
Summary of Disadvantages for Partial Denture
- Stress placed on the supporting teeth lead to tooth mobility and tooth loss
- High risk for decay, root canals and bone loss around the teeth that support the partial denture
- Food collects underneath the partial denture
- Uncomfortable, unsightly, and embarrassing
- Destroys healthy jaw bone