Many Americans experience tooth loss, whether the cause is trauma, advanced decay, or other medical reasons. Luckily, there are options available to replace the missing tooth or teeth, and the most popular are dental implants and dental bridges.
Replacing a missing tooth is important, as it prevents your remaining teeth from shifting and modifying the face structure and integrity of the jaw bone. Not to mention, your teeth will look much better with no big gaps. And, of course, eating and talking will be greatly facilitated when having tooth replacements.
Read on to find out what differentiates the two, and how to make the best decision when it comes to tooth replacements.
What Are Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts that are fixed into the jaw bone to support an artificial crown that will look like a natural tooth and perform like it. The metal post replaced the tooth’s roots, making dental implants the best option when it comes to replacing missing teeth.
Getting a dental implant involves a multi-stage oral surgery process, which can take up to a year if you also need a bone graft to replace missing bone tissue.
What Are Bridges?
Bridges are artificial crowns that aren’t attached to a metal pole but can be anchored to the natural teeth that border the missing tooth site. In order to fix the bridge to your natural teeth, the dentist will place two or more crowns on the adjacent teeth, which are then cemented to the bridge. The bridge replaces the missing teeth, but not their roots.
Dental bridges can also be anchored to dental implants, in case you have multiple missing teeth.
Pros & Cons
Dental implants pros:
- They are permanent and last for a lifetime.
- They promote jaw bone health.
- They involve an overall assessment of your overall oral health.
Dental implants cons:
- They are more expensive than other dental replacements.
- It takes months or even one year to get to the final result.
Dental bridges pros:
- They can be fitted faster than implants.
- They are more affordable.
Dental bridges cons:
- They don’t promote jaw bone health and won’t replace the tooth root.
- They require your natural teeth to get crowns, replacing your natural tissue with artificial caps.
Which One Is Better? Implants Or Bridges?
While bridges are a good temporary solution to missing teeth, they don’t encourage jaw bone health, because they lack the structure that replaces the tooth roots. Implants are overall better for your health and will last a lifetime, as they are made to fit your mouth perfectly and involve thorough, complex dental treatments.
If you are interested in finding out more about tooth replacement solutions, book an appointment with Dr. Jessica Barton at Harmony Dentistry in Westfield, IN. She and her team will determine what the best solution is in your case and guide you through every step of the process.
Contact us to book a preliminary appointment or to ask any questions.