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Dental Implant or Bridge???
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Dental Implant or Bridge???

My top right tooth, next to my incisor tooth has had much dental work on it, including root canals and 2 epicoectomies. Now it has been abscessed for about 1 yr. My dentist suggests I do an implant and a crown. Having just had about $10,000. worth of dental work on my mouth in the last 2 yrs, I hesitate to spend another 4,000. My question is: What if I get a 3 tooth perm bridge instead of the implant. What are the pros and cons here. The teeth on either side are my own, but don't look that good compared to my other teeth, so having them replaced will enhance my overall smile. And with insurance, the bridge could cost around 2-3,000. What should I do? Thanks:)
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Just from a money point of view, an implant is cheaper.  Implants are lifetime permanent, bridges have on average a 7-10 year life.  So yes, first year implants seem more expensive, but when that bridge has to be replaced, the implant will still be there, after 30 years you have paid for the bridge 3 times, implant once.

Now, from a dental point of view, bridges are not the best because:
1) Implants floss like normal teeth, bridges are hard to floss under
2) Implants can esthetically look better
3) Implants do not put added stress on the abutment teeth like a bridge does (which can cause problems with the teeth the bridge is supported by).

I am sorry you have had so much work done that has not been successful.  And you are the perfect example of why I advise people who need to have anything other than a normal root canal done to just remove the tooth.  Apicoectomies and any other endodontic surgeries are becoming outdated as implants have much better chance of success at equal to lower cost.

If you want to enhance your other teeth, I would suggest veneers.  In ideal conditions, veneers are also lifetime permanent as they do not remove the entire outer layer of your tooth, which strengthens the veneer and resists decay just like a normal tooth.

With these procedures, make sure you get your dentist to show you before and after pictures.  And with any implant procedure, an oral surgeon is usually better equipt to place the implant, the general dentist plans and restores it.  Some general dentists are trained and equipt to place the implant, but just be cautious.  The standard of care with implants is to have a conebeamCT scan before placing the implant (a 3D digital image).
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