October 27, 2023
Replacing missing teeth is a major decision. There are so many options, it can be confusing. Two of the most popular options for missing teeth replacement are dental bridges and dental implants.
Both options are viable solutions for missing teeth. However, they do have some differences. This article will explore these two options to help you decide which one better meets your personal needs and situation.
A dental bridge is a tooth replacement device that bridges the gap left behind by missing teeth. The device consists of dental crowns on each end with pontics, or artificial teeth, between. The dental crowns are typically attached to the neighboring healthy teeth, but may be attached to dental implants placed on each side of the gap.
In some cases, some of the enamel must be removed to allow space for the crowns to fit on the teeth. Dental crowns are made from a variety of materials such as porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two. Dental bridges are not removable.
A dental implant is a small metal or ceramic screw/post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone, acting as an artificial root. During healing, the jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant, creating a permanent, stable bond. This is known as osseointegration.
Once osseointegration has occurred, a custom dental crown is secured to the screw/post providing a natural-looking, durable replacement for the missing tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or can be used to support a dental bridge or a full set of dentures.
|Basis of Difference||Dental Bridge||Dental Implant|
|Average Cost||Generally more affordable upfront but may require replacement over time.||Initially higher cost but can last a lifetime with proper care.|
|Durability||Typically lasts 5-15 years before needing replacement||It can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.|
|Treatment Time||Faster treatment can be completed in a few weeks||Requires a longer process, spanning several months, including healing time|
|Impact on Oral Health||Requires altering adjacent teeth, potentially compromising their health.||Preserves adjacent teeth and stimulates the jawbone, promoting overall oral health.|
|Maintenance||Needs regular cleaning and flossing; may require special floss threaders for cleaning underneath the pontic.||Similar maintenance to natural teeth, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.|
The decision between a dental bridge and a dental implant is a major one and is very personal. There are several things to consider when making this choice:
The decision is ultimately yours- but your dentist will be happy to provide as much guidance as you need. Feel free to ask any questions and bring up any concerns that you might have.
If you are missing one or more teeth, schedule your visit at Innovative Dental and Orthodontics today. We offer a variety of restorative procedures including dental bridges and dental implants. Our expert dentists will work with you to create a plan that fits your needs, expectations, and budget.