You should know this before you decide for a denture: implants and bridges close ugly tooth gaps. But when is which solution recommended? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods? And what do they cost? Answers to this are provided by our expert advice.
This helps with tooth gaps
No question: Beautiful teeth increase the personal attractiveness and promote self-esteem and sympathy values considerably. Those who are not well-served by nature, modern dentistry promises a wealth of modern methods and procedures to permanently bite firmly and smile carefree.
If there are gaps between the teeth and the aesthetic appearance, there are two common alternatives - the good old bridge or the state-of-the-art implant. Both methods have their particular strengths, but also their typical weaknesses.
Dental implants: High tech with long-term effect
Gone are the days of shaky prostheses that often made life difficult for the "Kukident" generation. "Especially with partial and full denture wearers, the jawbone is formed due to an incorrect load, " explains the Dortmund specialist. Dr. Manfred Nilius. "And that's exactly what can lead to instability."
A problem that patients with modern dental implants can only smile tiredly. Firmly anchored in the bone like a separate tooth, the small artificial roots of titanium or zirconium oxide provide secure support to the crowns or bridges attached to them, thus providing the patient with a perfect bite. "No method replaces missing teeth so naturally and unobtrusively, " says maxillofacial surgeon Dr. med. Nilius.
Modern computer technology makes work easier
With the help of state-of-the-art computer technology, the implantologist calculates the position, angle and size of the optimal implant to the nearest millimeter and then places it exactly where the root of the lost tooth was originally.
The precise preparatory work on the computer saves the patient a lot of time: "Even complete rows of teeth of both jaws can be easily fitted in just one session during a longer lunch break, " assures Dr. med. Dr. Nilius. Lengthy healing periods of up to several months, as they used to be quite common, are a thing of the past, thanks to new processes such as "corkscrew implants".
The advantage of this method: "Thanks to laser technology and a special thread, it is often sufficient to drill only a single bore of only two millimeters in order to firmly anchor the implant", explains Dr. med. Nilius.
Bridges - the classic "stopgap"
To close tooth gaps, the fixed bridge has proven millions of times. It is usually made of metal, which is veneered with tooth-colored ceramic. Smaller designs are often made entirely from high-performance ceramics that can withstand high chewing forces in the area of the posterior teeth. In addition to a bridge member that spans the gap, two anchor crowns are necessary, which are placed on the teeth left and right of the gap. Before that, however, the teeth must be ground down like a normal crown.
Thanks to sturdy metal frameworks, several missing teeth can be bridged. New-generation bridges are made of bioceramics and can also be milled with computer assistance. Often, both variants bridge and implant are combined, so that on only four or six implants whole rows of teeth of up to twelve teeth can be replaced.