Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants
Replacing a missing tooth is an important decision that requires careful consideration. There are two main methods for replacing a tooth, dental implants and dental bridges. Both have their unique advantages and disadvantages, so it can be difficult to decide which option is best for you. In this article, we will compare and contrast dental bridges and dental implants, so that you can make an informed decision about which treatment is right for you.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth, or teeth, which is used to fill a gap in your smile. The bridge is attached to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap, or in some cases, just to one side. This type of bridge is usually made from porcelain or ceramic, as these materials look most like natural teeth.
A traditional dental bridge involves shaving down the healthy teeth so that they can accommodate the false tooth or teeth. A cap is then placed over each tooth and the bridge is attached.
In other cases, where there may not be enough support from healthy teeth on both sides of the gap, a cantilever bridge may be used. This type of bridge is attached to just one side and supported by a metal wing.
Although bridges are usually made from porcelain or ceramic, in some cases metal bridges may be used. If you are considering having a dental bridge fitted, it is important to discuss all of the options with your dentist so that you can choose the best option for you.
Dental Bridge Pros and Cons
The main advantage of bridges is that they are considered to be one of the most cost-effective methods for replacing missing teeth.
Another advantage of bridges is that they don't require bone grafting if bone loss is present, and offer a quicker process for replacing missing teeth.
However, one of the biggest disadvantages of bridges is that they place greater strain on surrounding structures, especially the two teeth which are attached to the device. For this reason, a bridge rarely is expected to last a lifetime.
Bridges do not address concerns about underlying structural problems. This means that long-term issues arising from bone loss due to the removal of teeth will continue to advance even after the gap is addressed.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are a modern, advanced treatment option for adults with missing teeth.
Unlike other traditional tooth replacements, implants are shaped like a tooth root and are placed directly in the bone adjacent to your other teeth.
In time, your implant fuses to the bone and becomes a permanent part of your smile.
Implants are easy to maintain and have a high success rate.
A pair of dental implants can be set at either end of a larger space, anchoring a multi-tooth dental bridge to fill in the space of 3-4 teeth at a time.
Dental implants offer a more natural and comfortable solution that will last you for years to come.
Dental Implants Pros and Cons
One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is that they place less of a burden on the surrounding teeth and promote the healing of bone structures and gums under the teeth. They also tend to reduce long-term risks posed to the jaw. Generally, a high-quality dental implant should be expected to last a lifetime.
A disadvantage of dental implants is that they can be a costly treatment. Especially in cases where a large number of individual teeth need to be replaced in different spots.
Even the replacement of a single tooth with an implant can cost several thousand dollars. When trying to replace a particularly large number of teeth, it's not unusual for dentists to recommend a traditional dental bridge instead of an implant.
Implants also tend to take longer and require more visits to the dentist than other tooth replacement options, such as dentures or bridges.
Making The Best Choice For You
It can be tricky to know how to best address a missing tooth. Many people feel self-conscious about their smile and missing teeth can add to that feeling. However, there are options available to you that can help restore both the function and appearance of your smile. The most important step is to talk with your dentist about what might work best for you.
Your dentist will have a lot of experience with addressing missing teeth and will be able to help you understand all of your options. They’ll also be able to help you weigh the pros and cons of each option based on your specific situation. This way, you can feel confident that you’re making the best decision for your needs.
If you’re in the Raleigh, NC area, be sure to schedule an appointment with Williams, Daily and Frazier Dental. Our experienced dentists will be more than happy to help you develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.