Are you facing tooth loss? Over time, teeth can get damaged by accidents and routine wear and tear. Regardless of the cause, you may be left wondering about your choices for replacing the missing tooth.
When it comes to tooth loss and replacement, you have two main choices: implants and bridges. Both have their own pros and cons and will affect your mouth differently. But which is the better option?
Here, we’ll go over dental implants vs bridges and when to choose one over the other. Keep reading to learn how to keep your smile healthy and your confidence high.
What Is Dental Implant?
Dental implants are an effective solution for people who suffer from tooth loss. Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically implanted into the jaw bone, replacing the roots of missing teeth. The implant is first embedded in the gum tissue and allowed to heal, allowing the bone to grow and fuse to the implant.
Once the implant has been fused to the jaw bone of the patient, an abutment is attached to the implant, and a dental crown is placed on top. The dental crown acts as a new tooth and is color-matched to the existing teeth. By replacing the missing root, dental implants provide stability to the jaw bone and surrounding teeth, giving patients a natural-looking smile.
What Is Bridge?
A dental bridge is a device used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It is made of two dental crowns on either side of a false tooth, known as a pontic, and is secured to natural teeth or implants. The crowns, also known as abutments, hold the bridge in place and act as anchors. A bridge is usually made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both and can last five to fifteen years with proper oral care.
Types of Dental Bridges
Bridges are an ideal solution for closing the gap between teeth, and the different types of dental bridges can give you the perfect option for your individual needs. Read on to find out the different types of dental bridges available to you and find out which one is right for you.
The most commonly used bridge is the traditional bridge. This type of bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, with a pontic in the middle.
Cantilever bridges are ideal when there is only one adjacent tooth. The pontic is joined to the single crown, which is anchored to the adjacent tooth.
In the case of a resin-bonded bridge, also known as a Maryland bridge, a metal framework with wings on either side is used. The wings are bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth.
The final type of bridge is the implant-supported bridge, which is designed to replace several missing teeth. This bridge involves surgically inserting implants, which act as anchors for the bridge.
The Pros of Dental Implants and Bridges
Dental implants and bridges are two of the most effective options available when it comes to fixing long-term issues with a person’s teeth.
Dental implants are a great option for those looking for a more permanent solution for issues like missing teeth or badly decayed teeth. Implants are often titanium rods surgically implanted into the jawbone, offering a long-term, natural-looking replacement for the missing tooth or teeth.
Bridges are also a great option for those missing one or more teeth. Bridges span the gap left by the missing teeth, essentially “bridging the gap.” These prosthetic devices are made from either porcelain fused with metal or resin materials to match the appearance of the surrounding teeth. These prosthetics are custom-made and look natural, and provide the same biting, chewing, and speaking functions of natural teeth.
Both implants and bridges offer great advantages over more traditional prosthetics, such as dentures. They don’t require alterations to existing healthy teeth, have superior longevity, and are designed to look and function more naturally than dentures.
The Cons of Dental Implants and Bridges
Although dental implants and bridges both offer reliable, long-term solutions for missing teeth, both of these options have their drawbacks.
Dental implants, while offering a permanent solution, are costly and require an invasive surgery with a lengthy healing time. Bridges can be a simpler, more economical solution; however, they can result in increased damage to healthy teeth and require more frequent adjustments than implants.
Additionally, bridges may not be suitable for some people, especially those missing a large number of teeth. Bridgework may also be associated with an increased risk of periodontal disease. For these reasons, it is important for people to weigh all the pros and cons of dental implants vs bridges before deciding which option is best for them.
Dental Implant vs. Bridge Cost
Dental implants and bridges are two treatment options for replacing missing teeth. The cost of a dental implant is usually higher than that of a dental bridge, but this cost may be offset by the longevity of the implant. A dental implant can last up to 20 years, while a bridge typically only lasts 5-7 years and may need to be replaced multiple times.
In addition, a bridge requires adjustment to surrounding teeth as well as the abutment, leading to more time in the dental office. Dental implants do not require any additional work to surrounding teeth and can be fitted and placed in a single visit. In the long run, the cost-efficiency of dental implants may make them a more cost-effective option than a bridge.
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Dental Implants vs Bridges
Dental implants and bridges are both solutions to missing or damaged teeth. They are both cost-effective, long-lasting methods to improve your oral health.
For more information on which restoration method is best for you, consider discussing your options with your dentist. With the right clinical guidance and a good oral hygiene routine, you can make your smile last for years to come.
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