So, you’ve lost a tooth. Or maybe you are one of the many women and men with hypodontia – congenitally missing teeth. Now you are ready to close the gap, restoring the appearance of your smile, your ability to speak without lisping, and your enjoyment of a well-rounded diet. Is a dental implant your best alternative? It’s a big decision. Dr. Sameet Koppikar and his team at Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix, AZ encourage you to make a well informed choice by understanding tooth implant options.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant replicates the root of a missing tooth. This small device, made of a strong biocompatible material, is precisely implanted into the jawbone. The procedure is technically an oral surgery, but it is brief and requires only a tiny incision which heals quickly. In time bone fuses with the implant, forming a solid foundation for a beautiful porcelain crown.
The new tooth looks completely natural and feels and chews like your other teeth. It requires no special care – just normal good oral hygiene.
There’s another important benefit. Each time you bite on a real tooth, the root stimulates strong, dense jawbone. A dental implant simulates that process, helping to keep your mouth healthy and your appearance youthful.
What about a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is sound general dentistry to replace a missing tooth. This technique is a good choice for the patient who is not a candidate for a dental implant due to bone loss or health issues, or who simply doesn’t want an implant.
Dr. Koppikar reduces the teeth on either side of the gap. He creates a bridge consisting of porcelain crowns for those teeth, with an artificial tooth (called a pontic) in between. The unit is cemented into place on the prepared teeth to restore your smile.
While a dental implant is considered a lifetime restoration, a bridge has a shorter lifespan, so it may have to be replaced several times. A bridge also requires some special hygiene, but don’t worry – Dr. Koppikar will show you how to care for it properly to maintain good oral health.
Dr. Koppikar understands that no two smiles, patients, lifestyles, schedules, or budgets are the same. That’s why Biltmore Dental Center provides options. Whether you choose a dental implant or a fixed bridge for restoration of your smile, you are in good hands. Call (602) 954-8200 to schedule an appointment.