Missing teeth have a significant impact on the appearance of your smile and the function of your mouth. Dental implants and dental bridges are the most common ways of correcting this. But how do you decide which one is right for you? Here are some things to consider.
What is a Dental Implant?
Many people don’t realize how complex the foundation of teeth is. The structure consists of bone, ligaments, and nerves. When it is removed, the neighboring area slowly deteriorates. Teeth can shift, causing misalignment and gaps between other teeth.
A dental implant is a way to replace this structure. The process of dental implants takes a few months. First, a titanium post is implanted. Then, new bone grows around the metal post and when the dentist decides that it is secure, a crow is added to the top and sealed in place.
Pros and Cons
The biggest advantage of dental implants is that it lessens the burden on surrounding teeth. Also, it promotes healing of bone structures and gums under the teeth. Dental implants tend to reduce long term risks to the jaw and a high-quality implant will last you a lifetime.
Unfortunately, dental implants can be an expensive treatment. Especially if there are multiple teeth that need to replace in different spots. This is because oral surgery is required to implant the metal post. Another disadvantage is that the process does take longer, since it depends on how quickly your body heals.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Essentially, a dental bridge attaches to the remaining healthy teeth and bridges the gap between. During this process, the two teeth on either side of the gap are shaved down and fitted with a cap and accompanied by the bridge. In some cases, dentists may use a winged, or Maryland bridge. This type of dental bridge is embedded into the neighboring teeth, rather than capping them.
Pros and Cons
The main advantage of dental bridges is that they are one of the most affordable methods for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Additionally, they don’t require bone grafting, and this treatment is much faster than dental implants.
Unfortunately, dental bridges place greater strain on the surrounding structures, especially the two teeth that are attached to the bridge. So, dental bridges rarely last a lifetime. More importantly, bridges don’t address any problems with the underlying structure. So, long term issues may arise due to bone loss.
Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges
If you are missing a tooth, or need an extraction, its important to decide if a dental implant or dental bridge is right for you. Let our team help. Contact Dr. Hackley DDS today to schedule an appointment.