I have to choose between two options and I’m feeling a little lost. First, some background. I had to replace all my front incisors. It was done with a bridge that used my canine teeth as the anchor teeth. These eventually came loose themselves and I needed to replace everything. The dentist I had been going to suggested I get a removable partial denture for all the missing teeth. I did that but found it to be distractingly uncomfortable and asked for some new options. He is now suggesting I replace all of those teeth with dental implants and he’d use mini implants which are less expensive. I was having some doubts about this because nothing they have done so far seems to work. My dentist is at a corporate chain practice so I decided to see what a private practice would say. I was given a vastly different treatment plan. He suggested attaching a bridge to three full-sized implants– one where the canine teeth were and another directly in the middle. This is significantly more expensive. Is there a good reason to go with the more pricey plan?
I am glad you wrote and I think I can help you here. Let’s start with the cheaper plan. Yes, it will save you money but only in the very short term. Over time, this is going to cost you a lot more. While mini implants are cheap to place, they are too weak to support teeth. They are going to fail. When they do, it is not just a matter of replacing them with another one. You will first have to build back up the bone that was lost when your mini dental implants failed. This will require an extra bone grafting procedure and some healing time before the replacements can even start.
Now let’s look at the more expensive plan.
One of the reasons your first bridge failed was because they used your canines as anchor (abutment) teeth, as illustrated in the diagram above. This puts enormous twisting forces on those teeth. I’m not surprised they came loose and would be surprised if your bridge lasted very long at all.
By placing a third dental implant in the center, it helps to secure the teeth against those twisting forces and will give you a much more secure and long-lasting solution. Thereby, saving you money, time, and quality of life in the long run. I’d go with the second dentist’s treatment plan.
A quick word about corporate practices. These tend to attract newer dentists who are trying to get experience before going into a private practice of their own. Though we all start somewhere, for advanced procedures, such as replacing teeth, I recommend going to the more experienced dentists. This is especially true when you have the risk of dental implant failure.
This blog is brought to you by Sugar Land Dentist Dr. Siny Thomas