Missing teeth have raised much concern among patients, but proper replacement is the key to a confident smile. Nowadays, there are several dental treatment procedures for missing teeth, such as dental crowns, dental bridges, dental implants, etc.
If you have one or more missing teeth, you can either get a dental bridge or an implant to replace your lost teeth. However, it is important that you know the pros and cons of each option. You need to ask your dentist the following questions: What is the difference between a dental bridge and an implant? Is a dental bridge a better treatment option for you or the dental implant? What are the benefits of one treatment option over the other option?
More often, the dental implant is an ideal treatment option for a missing tooth/teeth. However, a number of factors must first be considered including whether your tooth loss occurred recently or a few years ago.
A major benefit of the dental implant over porcelain bridges is that they not only replace missing teeth but also protect the neighboring teeth. But in the case of porcelain bridges, they have to be supported by the surrounding natural teeth. As a result, the dental implant does not put any strain on other teeth while a dental bridge does.
Another great benefit of a dental implant over the dental bridges is that it requires little maintenance. The cleaning process for the dental implant is very simple and flossing is possible between implants. Dental implants of high-quality materials can last for a very long time – or even a lifetime. However, porcelain bridges need to be replaced after about 10 to 15 years.
In addition, a dental implant looks more natural and facilitates chewing. Implants fit firmly into the jawbone without shifting or slipping in contrast with a dental bridge that may slip.
Nonetheless, the dental bridge has its advantages. For instance, getting a dental bridge does not require any surgical intervention but a simple dental procedure. However, dental implants require some surgical procedures.
Also, it is quicker and easier to get porcelain bridges. The entire dental bridge procedure requires only about two to three dental visits. Porcelain bridges are recommended in the case of minor dental damage or jawbone loss. Dental bridges are less expensive and follow a simple and less painful procedure than dental implants. It is also important to note that placing an implant requires a healthy jawbone.
The following factors must be considered for the two options. This will help you in making the right choice and decision.
A dental implant is more durable than a dental bridge. The implant provides dental protection that lasts almost a lifetime. The dental implant is commonly made of titanium. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), titanium fuses naturally with the jawbone through a process known as “osseointegration.” Titanium is a strong metal, which is also very resistant to gum problems and decay. Note, however, that the average lifespan of a dental bridge is about 10 years.
Because parts of the natural tooth normally remain under the bridge for support, these parts may wear down over time and cause the dental bridge to fail. The teeth under the bridge can become susceptible to gum disease and dental decay. Though a dental implant is susceptible to gum disease if not flossed daily, it is not susceptible to dental decay.
The answer to which treatment option would offer a better aesthetics value can only be provided by your dentist or prosthodontist. This is to say that only a professional dentist can advise you on the option that offers a better aesthetic value. The dental implant can offer a more preferable result by offering a look that matches your natural tooth. Sometimes, a dental implant can immediately be placed after an extraction. This improves the final appearance and preserves the natural level of your jawbone.
The dental bridge is less expensive than the dental implant, though the porcelain bridge needs to be replaced more frequently. The dental implant is more expensive right from preparation to final placement. However, implants can be more cost-effective over time. Fortunately, both dental implants and dental bridge are restorative dentistry treatments and are covered by most dental insurance companies. This means that your insurance company would pay for a portion if not all the costs of the procedures involved in the treatment.
How They Both Work
Dental implants are artificial teeth roots commonly made from titanium that are surgically inserted into the jawbone in place of missing teeth. Once the implant is inserted into the jawbone, a temporary protective cover screw (abutment) is placed on the dental implant while osseointegration takes place – the process whereby the implant fuses with the jawbone – to create an incredibly stable, durable prosthetic. Osseointegration takes about six months for completion. After osseointegration, the protective cover is removed and a temporary crown is placed while the permanent crown is made in the lab. The temporary crown helps the gum to grow and shape itself in a natural way. The temporary crown is replaced by the permanent crown once it is completed.
Just as its name implies, a dental bridge bridges the gap caused by missing tooth/teeth. The porcelain bridges are usually less invasive than the dental implants though in some cases, they may be more invasive. Unlike an implant, a dental bridge does not replace the tooth root. Instead, a dental bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support to fill the missing tooth space. Bridges do not require a longer treatment process like with implants since osseointegration is not required. However, placing porcelain bridges could be invasive because it requires that adjacent teeth be permanently altered to support the bridge. Since the bridge must be anchored to one or more neighboring teeth, the neighboring teeth must be filed down to perfectly support the bridge.
Back to the question of whether a bridge is better than an implant. A consultation with your dentist to review your dental condition can help you choose the best option. Your dentist is highly experienced and will examine your case to determine the best procedure. It is, therefore, recommended that you speak with a professional dentist for a complete and thorough examination of your unique dental condition.
Restoration Smiles will help you to get results that last as quickly as possible. Call us today to set up an appointment at any of our professional dentist and orthodontist.