I lost a tooth and would really like to replace it with a dental implant. I’ve been told by some friends they are way better than a dental bridge. My dentist keeps telling me they are overrated and he thinks I’ll be happier with the bridge. While the bridge is cheaper and I am glad he is not just trying to push me to the expensive treatment, I’d really like to get the dental implant if they are better. I know I should believe the professional, but my friend is a pretty straight shooter and she loves hers.
Never feel like you have to believe someone just because they are the professional. It is always better to verify and get second opinions. Even professionals disagree on a regular basis. In this case, I think your friend is the one on the right track. So, why isn’t your dentist recommending that treatment?
More often than you’d expect, a dentist who doesn’t feel comfortable in their skills with a certain procedure will, instead of admitting their shortcomings, steer their patient toward a procedure they feel more confident doing.
You can get your dental implant, but don’t pressure your dentist to do it. He won’t be the best dentist for you in this case. You need someone with significant post-doctoral training in dental implants and restorative dentistry.
Dental implants are not really taught in dental school, so dentists do need to invest in the training after they graduate. It is also not a specialty, so it is up to the dentist how much training they get. Combine those two issues and we end up with this being one of the more commonly litigated malpractice suits.
When does a Dental Bridge Make More Sense?
The one time I would say it might make more sense to get a dental bridge versus a dental implant is if either (or both) of the adjacent teeth need a dental crown anyway. In that case, not only are you not unnecessarily grinding down a healthy tooth, but you are taking care of two needs at once.
Some patients still prefer the implant even in that case. They get an implant on one tooth and a crown on the other. Either is fine.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.