Over the years, teeth replacement procedures have advanced leaving patients with more options. While this is a good thing, it may also leave you wondering which is right for you – a bridge or implant? There are a few different factors to consider when choosing between the two. And you’ll want to ensure you ask your dentist about which makes the most sense for your particular dental health goals. To help you get started, here is a little bit of information about dental implants and bridges.
A dental bridge – crowns are used to create a bridge, and are installed on the natural teeth on either side of the gap left by a missing tooth. The artificial tooth covers the gap but is not fixed to the jaw. Installing the dental bridge often takes less time than an implant.
However, a crown can often leave the adjacent teeth more vulnerable to future issues such as decay. And crowns don’t have the lifespan of implants, and most patients have them replaced roughly every ten years.
A dental implant – At the site of the tooth that’s missing, a tiny titanium cylinder is placed in the jawbone bonding with the bone tissue. An artificial root is created, an abutment is placed on top, and then the artificial tooth is set.
Jaw health is supported more with an implant versus a bridge, and this is good for your oral health and face shape. Also, the results can last well over twenty years. However, the process is more complex and healing time is longer.
While both bridges and implants improve your smile and look great, many people feel dental implants have a more natural appearance. Look at before and after pictures to help learn more about the aesthetic differences. The site of the missing tooth may also play a role in whether a bridge or implant is right for the look you want to achieve for your smile.
Both procedures are going to be durable, but dental implants mimic the function of a natural tooth because artificial roots are created. A dental implant has a significantly longer lifespan than a bridge, and you’ll be able to treat an implant like a regular tooth. A bridge requires a little more care and attention when cleaning to ensure they last seven to ten years, but they’ll still need to be replaced more often and are more vulnerable than implants.
A dental bridge is initially more cost-effective than an implant. But, you’ll need to factor in future care and replacements because the upkeep is going to be more. While dental implants are more in cost, you should speak with a dentist to find out about payment options and how they fit in your budget. When you keep up with your oral health routine such as flossing and professional dental cleanings, implants will require less fuss and last longer, making the investment well worth it.
Just like many treatments, before deciding which is right for you, speak with a dentist to find out if you’re a good candidate for implants or bridges. Your oral health, how long the tooth has been missing, and other issues need to be factored in.
Contact Lowes Island Dentistry today to learn more about bridges and dental implants, so you make the right choice for your oral health and budget.