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|Dental Bridges vs. Implants
Dental bridges and implants are two common options to replace a missing tooth. Each procedure has advantages and disadvantages that you should become familiar with before deciding which one is the right choice for you.
Dental bridges consist of a prosthetic tooth suspended in between two crowns cemented onto natural teeth on both sides. A dental implant is an artificial tooth attached to a titanium post that is embedded into the jawbone. In both cases, the artificial teeth and crowns are colored the same as your surrounding teeth. Bridges, however, are often slightly more noticeable because the artificial teeth in them are not embedded into the gums. This is not the case with implants.
What’s the Right Choice for Me?
When choosing between a bridge or implant, we must consider the location of your missing tooth. For example, if you want a bridge to replace a missing tooth at the back of your mouth, it won’t show when you smile. However, if that bridge is meant to replace a missing tooth toward the front of your mouth, it may not have a natural appearance.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
We usually use bridges to cover a space where one or more teeth are missing. Crowns are used to cover damaged teeth and cover implants. Bridges and crowns strengthen damaged teeth and improve their appearance, alignment, and shape. Lost teeth leave gaps that cause the adjacent teeth to shift, resulting in a bad bite. Bridges and crowns prevent this. If you care for them properly, they can last a lifetime.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Like dental bridges, dental implants can last for decades if properly cared for. Another advantage of dental implants is that they stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from deteriorating. When you lose teeth, the jaw bone can shrink and changes the appearance of your face and smile.
The titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone in implant surgery integrate into the bone through a process called osseointegration. Biting and chewing using the new tooth gives the same stimulation that normal tooth roots provide. Dental bridges, which aren’t inserted deep down into the jaw bone, don’t have this benefit.
How Long will the Procedure Take and How Much Will it Cost?
Two more considerations are time and cost. Dr. Feldman can provide you with a bridge in two visits over the course of a few weeks. However, if you want an implant, it will take longer. It takes 3 to 6 months for your jawbone to grow around the titanium post. However, getting a dental bridge is often more affordable.
How are Implants and Bridges Maintained?
Dental bridges and implants are cared for similarly. For example, you should brush them twice a day to keep stains from forming.
Here at Nicholas W. Feldman, DDS, MBA, we understand that each patient is unique and requires special care when choosing how to replace a lost tooth. Whether you choose bridges or implants, we can help you restore your smile. Call (907) 802-4519 today to schedule a consultation.