To the Editor:
Dental implants to replace missing teeth are an important advance, and there is no question about their value. But Jane E. Brody’s column “A Dental Shift: Implants Instead of Bridges” (Personal Health, Nov. 17) may lead readers to believe, incorrectly, that bridges are inferior to implants.
A bridge can be made in two visits, does not need at least two surgical procedures and does not require long and painful healing. It restores full function in a very short time. These qualities are especially important for patients who are older and debilitated. Just this past week, I saw a patient whose bridge has been in place for 62 years.
Finally, implants can and do fail. There no restorations in dentistry that are 100 percent successful all the time.
Stephen M. Sheppard, D.M.D.
from nytimes.com Published: November 30, 2009