So the time has come when you’re considering replacing your missing tooth. In today’s advanced dental field there are now many different options to choose from when deciding which dental procedure works best for you. Now you can choose from crowns, bridges, implants or partial dentures to fill in that missing space in between your teeth. It just depends on each individual’s unique case. There are many factors when it comes to deciding what works best for you. Learning the differences between implants and bridge replacements will aid you in choosing the best option.
Bridges are constructed quite differently than implants. Bridges are composed of a suspended fake tooth that resides between two crowns that are placed on prepped natural teeth on either side of the empty space. The fake tooth is not embedded in gums, but rather hangs over the ridge of the jaw leaving a slight space between the fake tooth and the gums. Leaving that space slightly open in between the fake tooth and the gums allows the patient to keep the area underneath the bridge clean. An implant on the other hand is a singular fake tooth that is embedded in the gums, it does not need support from its neighboring teeth. A dentist surgically places a titanium post inside the patients jaw bone, and then a crown is placed on top of the implant to fill in the space in between the teeth.
When it comes to choosing between a bridge and an implant, a deciding factor would be the location of the missing tooth. If your missing tooth is one of your front teeth, or the teeth that show with your natural smile, esthetic factors come in play. According to the American Dental Association, implants are recommended for restoring a natural, attractive smile. So basically, when restoring front teeth, implants are the better option for restoring a missing tooth, if you’re restoring back teeth which are not visible either choice of implant or bridge can work.
Implants are also great for maintaining bone structure in the jaw. When a tooth is lost, there is no more pressure exerted on the jaw bone from the tooth. Losing that force eventually begins the process of the bone deteriorating in that area, causing bone loss. So in regards to implants, because an implant is embedded into the jaw there is a force exerted on the implant when chewing, causing pressure onto the jaw bone. In regards to the bridge, anytime pressure is applied to the false tooth that is suspended, the false tooth does not touch the jaw bone therefore it does not exert pressure onto the jaw bone causing bone loss to occur.
Cost is always an important deciding factor for patients, what works for your budget? Well in regards to bridges versus implants, bridges are less costly sometimes.
Every patient’s needs varies from case to case, and your dentist would know which option works best for you. If you have any questions or concerns regarding implants or bridges schedule an appointment with us today to discuss your options.