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Implant or Bridge?
Jan 6, 2002

Due to a failed root canal I recently had tooth 30 extracted. The plan is to install a bridge anchored on teeth 29 and 31, both of which have had root canals. Tooth 29's root canal did not reach all the way to the end of the root because of calcification, which was the complication that ultimately resulted in the loss of tooth 30. When is an implant indicated instead of a bridge and is there any reason to believe that one approach would have a better long-term outcome for an HIV patient?

Response from Dr. Reznik

This is a very good question, which has no easy answer. First and foremost, there have been no studies regarding the success or failure of dental implants in people living with HIV disease. It is my opinion that if an individual were a good candidate for dental implants, HIV status would not matter.

The key to your case is the condition of tooth number 29. As long as it has been asymptomatic and your endodontist believes the treatment to be a success, and you have good supporting structures (periodontium) a bridge should be a reasonable choice for this restoration. The only other factors which should enter into this decision-making process would be time, expense and discomfort.

Take care and let me know which choice you made.


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