Dear Dr. Crapo: Last week I broke off my upper right front tooth. It looks horrible. When the dentist saw it he said it couldn’t be glued back in because the tooth had snapped off right at the gum. He took an x-ray and said you’ve got more problems. The tooth beside it has a broken root. Then he said it would be best to get both teeth out and implants put in. I asked him if he could do that and what it would cost. He said he has a colleague that puts the implants in and then he could do the crowns. I asked him if I’d get the crowns right away – like the same day the teeth come out. He said no but I could get a flipper so that at least I’d have teeth. I asked him about a bridge and he said that could be done too. I asked him how that would work. Would I have teeth the same day? He said that could be arranged. I asked him if the costs would be the same. He said the implants would cost more but they were better. When I left I still had a lot of questions, so I saw someone else. He took a lot of information. He took molds of my teeth and said the whole picture had to be looked at so that he could tell why the teeth broke in the first place. He showed me the x-rays and explained them to me. When I went back he gave me four or five options which all sounded good. I just wanted to know if I’m doing the right thing. I’m leaning towards a bridge because it will be faster to get done and my dental plan will pay more. Which is the best?
That’s an excellent question. If implants can be placed the same day that the two front teeth are extracted and if the bite allows putting temporary crowns on the implants and if the bite doesn’t have mechanical problems that are causing damage to the teeth, then implants are probably best because of longevity, strength and conservation of other teeth (not having to cut into other teeth for a bridge).
If the bite is a problem, if it puts a lot of force on the front teeth because of alignment and or balance problems and there are problems putting the implants in, a bridge may be the best choice. For some folks, implants are not the best option for a multitude of reasons (time, expense, surgery etc.).
When your dentist looks at your tooth casts, he may even recommend a more comprehensive treatment plan, to reduce stresses and wear and tear on your teeth.
If we can help, we’d like to. Call 778-410-2080 for a consultation.