The most common dental implant treatment is the single implant to replace one tooth.
There are few reasons for needing a single implant. The most common is the loss of an isolated tooth. This usually happens following a cavity that is irreparable, a root canal that went badly or the fracture of a tooth that cannot be fixed.
Most probably the options given to you are a single dental implant or a permanent fixed bridge. Unless you are missing additional teeth, the decision you are faced with is to choose between those two options.
Let's evaluate which option is the more conservative?
Conservative dentistry has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with preserving the tooth structure. Adult teeth are not naturally replaceable. Once the tooth calcifies when we are young, a new tooth structure cannot be formed. Thus the most valuable substance in dentistry is the tooth structure.
The first treatment option should always been to attempt to save a tooth. Once saving the tooth is no longer an option, because the tooth needs to be removed or has already been removed, it is crucial to think of conservative dentistry when replacing the tooth.
Let's take a look at the options:
The fixed bridge option requires the cutting of two teeth (Figure 1) on each side of the missing tooth to support the bridge. (Figure 2)
Figure 1: the cut teeth
Figure 2: the fixed bridge
Figure 3: bridge in place over cut teeth
This procedure compromises the long term survival of the two additional teeth. An uncut untouched tooth will survive much longer in your mouth without needing treatment compared to a tooth that has been cut.
In conclusion: when tooth structure preservation is taken into account, a single implant that does not require cutting adjacent teeth is 100% the conservative option. (Figure 2)
From a conservative perspective, a single implant is by far the best option as it does not require the cutting of additional teeth. Teeth do not grow once they are cut. Therefore the most conversation option is to avoid cutting the teeth. (Figure 4 & 5)
Figure 4: the implant between untouched teeth
Figure 5: the tooth over the implant
For additional comparative considerations, check out our other blogs on single implants.
A one on one discussion with your dentist is the best was to iron out the details and gain a complete understanding. Please contact us for a consultation and we will provide you with the details for an informed decision based on you actual condition.
At Making You Smile we are committed to providing you transparent, complete and comprehensive options and costs before starting any treatment. Call us at 646 484 0197 for a consultation.