Are you missing one or more teeth and looking for the best way to restore your smile?
If so, you may wonder which restorative dentistry treatment is best to restore the function and beauty of your smile.
While each treatment can provide you with a beautiful smile, they each have pros and cons. Today we will discuss dental implants and fixed dental bridges as options to replace missing teeth.
Why replace a missing tooth?
Whether you suffer from tooth loss due to trauma, gum disease, dental decay, or hypodontia, tooth replacement is about more than how your smile looks. Even one missing tooth can lead to issues with function and oral hygiene.
When you have a gap between teeth, your remaining teeth will shift and move toward the empty space. This can affect your bite and cause crooked teeth. A misaligned bite interferes with speech and chewing, which can cause diet and nutrition issues.
Additionally, crooked teeth are harder to clean with brushing and flossing, which can mean poor oral health. Potential outcomes include gum disease and cavities, which can mean gum surgery or the need for dental fillings or root canals.
Moreover, your tooth root plays a vital role in your dental health. Eating and chewing stimulate your tooth roots, which causes vibrations in the tissue surrounding your teeth. These vibrations stimulate your gum tissue and jawbone to keep them healthy and strong.
When you are missing your tooth root, it can lead to bone and tissue loss. As you lose more bone and tissue over time, this can lead to further tooth loss.
A dental implant may seem less desirable upfront because it is more invasive and expensive. However, it is typically the best option when it comes to long-term dental care and health.
Considered the “top of the line” treatment, implants combine restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
Dental implants do require surgery, but the surgery is minor and comes with few potential side effects. The entire procedure, which involves implanting a titanium post into your jawbone, usually takes less than an hour.
The dental implant replaces your tooth root, which offers significant advantages over other dental prosthetics.
First of all, it mimics the natural tooth root by stimulating the surrounding bone, halting bone loss.
Secondly, the titanium encourages bone growth around the implant. Approximately three months after placement, the implant will be permanently fused to your jawbone. Since it fuses to the jawbone, it is the only true permanent restorative option available.
Lastly, because of the permanent fusion, it is the strongest and most secure support for your tooth replacement.
Another downside of an implant is that you cannot receive your customized crown or bridge right away. Placement of your permanent restoration cannot occur until after the implant is completely healed and fused. However, temporary options are available for patients who desire immediate results.
Fixed Dental Bridge
A dental bridge can replace one to three adjacent teeth by “bridging the gap” with pontics. Also known as artificial teeth, pontics replace the visible part of the tooth.
Unlike partial dentures, a dental bridge is fixed in place with either dental crowns or implants. Both options can give you beautiful results that look just like your natural teeth.
The main benefits of supporting a bridge with crowns include less cost and no surgery. However, it is a much less stable and durable option when compared to dental implants. In addition, it requires the placement of at least two dental crowns on adjacent teeth, called abutments. Before crowns are placed, your dentist will need to prepare your teeth by removing some tooth enamel.
Patients interested in retaining natural teeth prefer dental implants.
Moreover, although crowns are typically considered “permanent,” they do have a lifespan and can be damaged or broken. With proper care, crowns can last over 20 years, but at some point, they may need to be replaced. This is an important consideration when determining overall costs.
Securing your dental bridge with permanent dental implants is the strongest, most durable option. In addition, it improves overall dental health and helps preserve your natural teeth.
Are you ready for your smile makeover?
At Lake Forest Dental Arts, our team is ready to restore the beauty and function of your smile. We utilize artistic smile design to find the best way to dramatically improve your appearance. This process takes your entire smile, the shade of your natural teeth, and the shape of your face into consideration. In addition, we only use the highest quality materials when creating your perfect smile.
If you would like to experience the customized, high-quality care we offer, we would love to serve you. Call our Lake Forest, IL office at (847) 234-0517 today to schedule your consultation.