According to a recent release by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, aging dental bridges are "worthless" and need to be replaced with implants.
"For most patients, implants are a much better treatment alternative because they preserve the bone of the jaw, can be flossed easily, do not decay, and function just like natural teeth. Also, to get implants you don't have to sacrifice healthy teeth, which is required with bridgework," said Olivia Palmer, DMD of Charleston, SC, an associate fellow of AAID and diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology.
I agree with Palmer.
One of my biggest joys has been having patients come in to replace aging dental bridges -- and seeing their relief when I tell them they are perfect candidates for implants.
With implants, patients have a single unit restoration; more imporant, the arch is restored the way it was meant to be.
However, not all patients are candidates for implants. In the case of Sam, a patient with 15 congenital permanent teeth, bridges and implants gave him a beautiful new smile. (When the new window opens, scroll down to see the photos that show his breathtaking transformation.)
To determine whether you're a candidate for implants, see your dental professional. (If your dentists tells you he doesn't "do" implants or that a bridge is perfectly fine, find a new dentist.)