Bridge or Implant?

I need opinions. I’ve had a cap on one my top front teeth since I was nine years old, due to an “accident” with my brothers. Since then it’s been a lifetime of trouble and pain, not to mention thousands of dollars in upkeep. There’s been steady bone loss even though I’ve done everything I can, and now they’re saying I’ve got a couple of years left and I should just do an implant now, while I’ve got a better chance of it going well.

My choices are: implant, bridge, or do flap surgery and get a splint and put it off for a few more years. I have caps on the teeth on either side, so getting a bridge seems a lot less traumatic. Is having an implant all that much better?

It looks like this is going to cost me a minimum of $6,000. And that’s doing it all at the NYU Dental School.

Looking through the trees down West 4th Street. I put this in the “I’ll bet you didn’t think NYC was so green” category.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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5 thoughts on “Bridge or Implant?

  1. Stacy, my right front tooth is an implant. I decided 3 years ago to get my teeth straightened and the process worked for all of my teeth EXCEPT the right front tooth. (Figures!) The tooth was adhered to the bone and would not budge. So I had an extraction and an implant and I am very pleased with the result. Good Luck!!

  2. Thanks for letting me know! It wasn’t terribly traumatic? How long did the process take from start to finish?

  3. I had to have the extraction several months ahead because the rest of my top teeth couldn’t be straightened without it. They also put in the (artificial) bone graft at that time. (I had a false tooth held in place by the braces.) The actual implant process took 3 months. They inserted the implant (a titanium screw) and replaced the false tooth. It has to heal for 3 months. Then, the abutment is added. It looks like a Chiclet. They put a temporary crown over that. Two weeks later, I got the permanent crown. I had IV sedation for the extraction and for the implant and I didn’t know a thing. Adding the temporary crown was a little sensitive because there are “strings” on the abutment that are attached somehow to the crown. They have to push back the gum tissue to do that. But that really truly was NOT bad. And I would do the WHOLE thing again and again.

  4. It’s quite a major decison especially financially. I can’t believe how much it cost in NYC! My gut feeling is to go with the implant and get it over with for a long term and satisfactory solution. If part of the solution is to do some work now to put off the envitable, why go thru all of that when eventually you will need the implant anyway and have to go through a lot of more work later on to get that. Everyone’s situation is different, where the tooth is, and how it’s presence or absence will affect you. But why do these thing have to cost so much? Seriously. Keep us posted on what you do, good luck! All who have had teeth issues & the expense involved are thinking about you.

  5. Thanks for the details Carol, and the moral support Betsy!

    I can’t get over the cost, and all that’s involved. I’m trying to get real about it, it’s not like I have cancer and am about to go through chemotherapy or something. As far as ordeals go, this isn’t as big a deal.

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