Dental Bridge Vs. Implant | What’s the Right solution?
Missing teeth can have a significant impact on your smile, and your confidence. They can also impact your ability to perform basic functions like chewing or aligning your jawbone. Two of the most common solutions that dental professionals would recommend to address these problems are dental implants and dental bridges.
While both dental bridges and dental implants both address the same challenges, they approach the solution to your problem very differently. If you are looking into a permanent solution for missing teeth, it’s important to have an in-depth understanding of the treatment options that are available to you. It’s also very important to understand what each treatment entails before deciding if it’s right for you and your long-term dental needs. Here’s what you need to know about choosing dental bridges vs. implants.
More about Dental Implants
The underlying structure of a single tooth is actually incredibly complex. When this structure — which is made of bone, ligaments, and nerves — is removed, the surrounding areas can slowly begin to deteriorate. If not cared for, this deterioration can spread leading to serious health issues. A dental implant can be a great way to prevent such issues.
A dental implant replaces the underlying dental structure with a special metal post, typically made of titanium. Over the period of a couple of months, the implanted metal can clear a path for new dental bone to grow around it. Once the new structure is tested by your dentist and has been determined to be sturdy enough, a crown is then be screwed on top of the dental implant and sealed into place.
Pros & Cons | Dental Implants
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they place less of a burden on the surrounding teeth and can assist with the healing of dental bone structures and gums under your teeth. They also can reduce long-term risks posed to the jaw bone. In most cases, a high-quality dental implant should last a lifetime.
The only real disadvantage of dental implants is that they can be a costly treatment option; especially in cases where multiple teeth need to be replaced in different spots. Even the replacement of just one tooth with an implant can cost several thousand dollars. When looking to replace a larger quantity of teeth, it’s not unusual for dentists to recommend a traditional dental bridge instead of an implant.
Implants also require multiple procedures and tend to have an overall longer period before they are complete. Oral surgery is often required, and it can take months following the initial implant procedure before your mouth is fully healed. In most cases other than extreme scenarios, a dental bridge will typically take no more than a few weeks to heal completely.
A dental bridge attaches to existing healthy teeth surrounding a gap to create a bridge across the area in a recipient’s smile. In more traditional versions of the procedure, the two teeth on opposite sides of the oral gap can be shaved down to accommodate the dental bridge.
A cap is then placed over each missing tooth accompanied by the bridge, seamlessly replacing missing teeth. In parts of the mouth that can’t handle as much force or where only one tooth is missing, dentists often recommend using a winged, or Maryland bridge that’s embedded into neighboring teeth, rather than one that fully caps them.
In some instances, teeth might be missing on both sides of a gap, making it difficult to line up the dental bridge. One solution is to install what’s called a cantilevered bridge. This type of bridge is attached to a single tooth on one side of the mouth, and the bridge structure can hang securely over the gap.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Dental Bridges
The main advantage of a dental bridge is the price. Dental bridges are considered to be one of the most cost-effective methods for replacing missing teeth. Another advantage of dental bridges is they don’t require bone grafting in order to use. Bridges are also the quickest process for replacing missing teeth.
However, some disadvantages of bridges include the strain they put on surrounding dental structures, especially the two teeth which are attached to the device. Bridges are often best used as a temporary solution, as they do not address concerns about underlying structural problems. Long-term issues arising as a result of bone loss due to the removal of teeth may continue to advance even after the dental gap is addressed with a bridge. Ask your local dentist whether dental bridges are the right choice for you.
Making the Right Choice For Your Smile
The most important thing you can do to make sure you find the right treatment for your missing tooth/teeth is to talk to your dentist about what options are right for you and your smile. A trusted dentist can carefully weigh out all of the specific considerations for your unique situation to make the right recommendation for you.
Your dentist will want to provide you with the right solution that will be as effective and safe as possible. Drs. Marino-Nassif can help you address any issues and develop a treatment plant that’s tailored to your needs.
Looking for a Trusted Dentisit to Help You Decide Between A Dental Bridge Vs. Implant?
When you’re making the life-changing decision to invest in your smile, you need a dental professional to guide you in the right direction for your health and your budget. If you need a Dentist that puts your health, happiness and budget at the forefront, reach out to Drs. Marino-Nassif today!
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