Which is better to replace a bridge now over 3 teeth- a longer bridge or 2 implants.

The teeth referred to in the title question are in the upper left portion of my mouth on the side but towards the front. I have been told that I need either a long bridge or 2 implants to replace a bridge that has to be removed in order to extract a cracked tooth that is currently providing support to the bridge. I am trying to decide what the best and most economical treatment would be for me from the point of view of overall dental health. I am 76 years old and have been treated for TMJ quite awhile ago and from time to time still have episodes. I am mentioning the latter as it has a bearing on how my mouth reacts to changes in balance. I was also told that a temporary bridge would be needed before I would be able to have the implants placed. My concerns, as stated above, are for long term dental health as well the high cost of all of these procedures, particularly the temporary bridge. Is there a reference chart of some kind that gives patients information on the possible costs for these procedures in the Boston area? It would also be helpful to know the amount of time that is recommended between each form of treatment (i.e. the tooth extraction and the placement of a temporary bridge and implants or between a temporary bridge and a permanent bridge and whether or not a temporary bridge is necessary in either case.) I am finding that this is a very difficult decision to make; therefore, input from an outside source would be most helpful. Since that cracked tooth was infected and is now in remission after a 10 day treatment with IC AMOXICILLIN, my dentist recommended that to avoid another infection it is necessary to get that bad tooth extracted as soon as possible. I have already had that miserable experience with another tooth. I need to have this information before my appointment to get the extraction done this coming Tuesday afternoon, July 29th and I need guidelines in order to decide the next course of action to take. Thank you for your time and attention. Your fast response will be appreciated. Sincerely, Avis G. Jacobson

Answer: Bridge vs. Implant

By BracesInfo.com Expert 10

A bridge from start to finish usually takes about 8-10 weeks from extraction to bridge delivery. Many times when an extraction is involved, the abutment (anchor) teeth are prepared, a temporary if fabricated, and the tooth is removed all in one visit. The patient with return in 4-6 weeks for the final impression of the prepared teeth, which will be sent to the lab for fabrication of the bridge. The temporary is re-cemented until the case returns from the lab and the permanent bridge is placed. Since you previously had a bridge, it is the most economical option, as the adjacent teeth will need to be restored with single crowns if implants are placed. You must determine first if you are a good candidate for dental implants and what is involved. Implants are surgically placed in the bone after a tooth is removed. Sometimes it can be placed on the same day as the extraction, however sometimes there is not enough bone support and a bone graft must be placed and integrated for 4-6 months prior to the implant surgery. Once the bone is stable, the titanium implants are placed and must integrate for another 4-6 months prior to restoration placement. It is a longer process and more costly, however, dental implants have a very high success rate and are the premium choice of dental restorations for restoring missing teeth.

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