Should You Get Dental Implants?

You may be a candidate for several options if you have a tooth that is missing or requires replacement. Each option offers different advantages, and consultation with Dr. Puterman can help you choose the right approach for your needs.

In our practice, we consult with patients from throughout the Washington, DC area who rely on us to help them make this decision. In addition to being a periodontal specialist, Dr. Israel Puterman also completed an additional 3-year residency in Implant Dentistry at the oldest, longest, and most prestigious implant residency program in the United States. His practice focuses on dental implants and related procedures, and we are sought out to help with the most complex cases.

If you are exploring your options for tooth replacement, we invite you to learn more about dental implants and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Puterman.

Factors to Consider with Tooth Replacement

As part of your consultation with Dr. Puterman, there are several considerations that you may want to discuss to make the best decision for your care:

  • Long-term goals. Is your intention to replace your tooth with the option that is longest-lasting? If so, dental implants offer patients a durable treatment option.
  • Aesthetics and functionality. Your preference may be a solution that mimics both the strength and appearance of your natural teeth. Some non-implant options provide an aesthetic improvement but do not return the same level of function.
  • Cost and effectiveness. Although implants have an initially higher cost, they are the most cost-effective option long-term as they last longest and require the least maintenance.
  • Natural feel. Implants, as opposed to bridges or dentures, allow you to floss between your teeth, just as you do with your natural teeth. Generally, there is no need for floss threaders or other special tools to keep implants clean.
  • Least maintenance. Implants have less need for redo’s than other options, such as bridges. Plus, if a redo is ever needed because a crown breaks, it’s less costly to redo an implant crown than to remake a bridge.

Dr. Puterman will take the time to answer all your questions so that you can choose the approach that works best for your situation. 

Deciding Between Dental Implants and Bridges

A dental implants is an artificial tooth root that supports a porcelain (or similar material) crown. The common alternative is the dental bridge. In this older restorative approach, the dental crown is attached to the teeth that neighbor the missing tooth. Understanding the advantages of each option can help patients choose between dental implants and bridges.

Durability. Dental implants tend to last longer than bridges. In 2007, the American Dental Association commissioned a review of all published data related to implants and bridges. According to the review, dental implants have a long-term success rate of 95% compared to 80% for bridges. Dr. Puterman was selected to be part of this study.

Cost. As described above, dental implants tend to have a higher upfront cost. However, they are less likely than dental bridges to fail. This means you would have a lower chance of expensive repairs and follow-up procedures.

Hygiene. Bridges connect several teeth together, which means that you need to use special implements to brush properly. Patients with dental implants can brush them as they would natural teeth.

Conservation. To place a traditional dental bridge, the doctor must drill down your adjacent teeth. When a bridge fails, it’s typically due to decay or fracturing in these supporting teeth. This may mean that you would require a new bridge, gum surgery, a root canal, or even extraction of the tooth near the empty space. Repairing crowns is much simpler with dental implants.

Time. Dental implants require at least two procedures: one to place the implants and one to attach the permanent crowns. Some patients need additional appointments to build up bone in areas of weakness, which helps ensure the implants’ longevity. In general, dental bridges also require multiple procedures, but the time between these procedures is usually shorter.

To place dental implants, Dr. Puterman uses technologies and techniques that significantly reduce the treatment timeline. These measures also improve the reliability of dental implants further and promote healing more quickly after the procedure. Whereas many implant surgeons advocate multiple procedures over 6 plus months, Dr. Puterman most often can have you working on the crown with your dentist within 1-3 months after implant placement. He can discuss his approach with you as part of your initial consultation.   

If you are exploring tooth restoration and have questions about your options, schedule a consultation to learn more about dental implants and alternative treatments. Patients can reach Dr. Puterman online or by phone at (301) 652-0939.