Which is better, a dental bridge vs implant? The importance of replacing missing teeth cannot be overstated. Each of your teeth has a specific function. When one tooth is lost, the other teeth begin to sustain this loss by shifting. This shifting can lead to a misaligned bite, also called malocclusion. Malocclusion can cause a patient to develop TMJ disorder, leading to chronic pain and jaw dysfunction. Missing teeth can also cause excessive tooth wear on remaining teeth, because those teeth are working harder when chewing food. While missing teeth should be replaced quickly, there are a number of considerations to take into account when replacing a missing tooth. Dentists offer several prosthetic restoration options, but the choice depends on the number and placement of missing teeth.
Adult tooth loss
Adult tooth loss can be a very frightening thing. It is often an unexpected event, and also one that raises a number of troubling questions. Even if an extraction has been scheduled, though, it can still be troubling to guess at what the future will look like after a tooth has been extracted. “How will I eat with a missing tooth? Will my friends or family members tease me about my now-incomplete smile? Is it going to hurt to chew? What happens if I lose more teeth?” While these questions can certainly be sources of fear, they do not have to go unanswered. Actually, there are a number of effective prostheses options available to help cope with tooth loss, so you can rest assured your smile will continue to function and look great. So, rather than worrying about your future, why not talk to your restorative dentist about how to get it back on track, by discovering how you can best go about improving your smile and getting back to more important things, like enjoying your life, and the ability to smile confidently!
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant
We offer fixed dental bridges to restore your smile and oral health. A fixed bridge fills the gap left by two or more adjoined missing teeth. The bridge is permanently anchored to porcelain crowns, which are bonded to the teeth on either side of the gap to provide stability. A dental bridge may be the right option for you, depending on your individual circumstances.
Benefits of bridges
- Because a bridge successfully fills the gap left by missing teeth, your teeth are less likely to shift. This prevents complications with your bite. Bridges also restore your ability to chew efficiently and smile confidently.
- Bridges look natural and blend seamlessly with your existing teeth. We offer all-porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) bridges. This type of bridge will help ensure your new teeth will replicate the translucency and color of your other teeth. We also offer butt-joint margins to hide the dreaded black gumline that sometimes occurs with PFM bridges.
- With proper care and good oral hygiene, a bridge can last up to 15 years or more.
On the other hand, benefits of implants:
- We must remove a significant amount of healthy tooth from the abutment teeth, or teeth surrounding the gap left by a missing tooth, when installing a bridge. This is to install the two crowns, one on either side of the gap, which will suspend your artificial teeth. Those two crowns provide the stability required to sustain a fixed bridge appliance.
- If tooth decay, or any other problem, occurs in either of the crowned abutment tooth, your entire bridge may require replacement.
- Unlike dental implants, a bridge does not replace the roots of a missing tooth. This can lead to bone loss and other complications.
- Dental implants are more conservative than bridgework. How conservative a dental procedure is can be determined by how much healthy enamel or tissue is removed. Even though dental implants require surgical insertion, little to no removal of tissue is required. With dental bridgework, your dentist must remove a comparatively large amount of enamel from the abutment teeth to make room for the support crowns.
- Dental implants help your remaining teeth stay healthier. A dental implant helps maintain the proper spacing and alignment of your teeth. This creates an oral environment that is easy to brush and floss. Furthermore, dental implants are impervious to tooth decay.
Dental Bridges Make for Stable Smiles
While unsupported partial and full dentures can be quick solutions for treating tooth loss, they are not as stable as dental bridges. That is because dental bridges are anchored through the use of dental crowns affixed to existing, healthy teeth.
By stabilizing a replacement tooth with these crowns, a bridge creates a more natural-looking and functioning smile than many dentures that are unsupported.
When considering a dental bridge vs implant, remember that bridges are a much faster treatment option, though there are compelling reasons to consider dental implants as well.
What Makes Dental Implants Ideal?
Dental implants are considered the most permanent and secure form of smile completion, because only implants are anchored to the smile through the use of a surgically inserted titanium post. This post is biocompatible, which allows the soft tissue to grow directly around it, creating an incredibly stable and natural anchor for a replacement tooth.
Because dental implants require oral surgery and recovery time, before the replacement tooth can be affixed to the post, this is the longest timeframe for prosthetic treatment. However, the results are incredibly long-lasting. In fact, the titanium post is designed to last a lifetime.
Modern Prostheses Are Designed for Comfort and Confidence
While dentures remain a popular form of smile completion after tooth loss, they are not the only way to complete the smile. In fact, many patients prefer more stable options than unsupported dentures. Bridges and dental implants are two such options, both of which can increase a patient’s confidence while chewing, when compared to unanchored dentures.
Dental bridges rely on crowns affixed to remaining teeth, to help stabilize a replacement tooth, whether that is a partial denture or a full dental crown. Dental implants are even more secure and permanent, because they use a titanium post surgically inserted into the jaw, in order to stabilize a replacement tooth.
Learn more about deciding between a dental bridge vs implant
If you have questions about dental bridges or dental implants and wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. James Fondriest, please call our Lake Forest dentist office at (847) 234-0517.
Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist serving clients from throughout the United States