When it comes to replacing missing teeth, you have two options: a dental implant or a bridge. While both offer a way to restore your smile, only one of these options offers a permanent solution. Here is a comparison.
Dental implants are specifically-designed replacement teeth that replace the roots of missing teeth. They form a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth. In some cases, dental implants can be used to support a bridge and eliminate the need to replace any adjacent healthy teeth.
An implant is a small titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Over time, the bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a crown is attached to the top. This crown is custom-made to match the patient’s other teeth in shape and color. In this way, nobody should be able to tell the patient has a false tooth. The implant itself will look and feel just like a patient’s natural tooth.
Traditionally, a bridge is made up of two crowns with prosthetic teeth in between. The crowns are placed over the natural teeth on either side of the gap and are connected to the false tooth or teeth in the middle. The bridge is then cemented into place for a lifelong restoration.
A bridge is a good option to replace one or two missing teeth in a row. However, it doesn’t work for every situation. For example, it wouldn’t be ideal for replacing all your teeth with a bridge because it requires support from your surrounding teeth in order to stay in place.
There’s no one answer for all patients. However, dental implants tend to provide more benefits than bridges when it comes to restoring your smile after tooth loss. Plus, they can also be used to replace a single missing tooth or several teeth in a row! They have an advantage over bridges in that they are permanent, while bridges often need replacement within ten years of placement in the mouth. They are also easier to clean and maintain over time. Bridges also require that the teeth next to the space be used to help stabilize the bridge. This can cause unnecessary stress on those adjacent teeth. Dental implants avoid these issues and are much more stable and reliable in the long run. In addition to replacing one or more missing teeth, they can be used to replace both your upper and lower arch of teeth with implant-supported dentures. These provide stability for your denture without the need for adhesives or pastes. They are removable for easy cleaning and maintenance. They can even be cleaned by running them through the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning session.
Because dental implants bond with the bone, they help prevent bone loss and provide a permanent solution for missing teeth. Traditional bridges don’t prevent bone loss and, therefore, may compromise the patient’s facial structure and bite function. In addition, caring for dental implants is as easy as brushing and flossing the teeth regularly, while bridges and dentures must be removed for cleaning and can cause discomfort during chewing.
Dental bridges are better for patients who simply need to replace multiple teeth in a row. Those patients also need to have healthy adjacent teeth to anchor the bridge in place. Besides, bridges usually have lower upfront costs than dental implants and need just two visits to the dental office spread over two weeks.
Reach out to our dental practice in Salt Lake City, UT, to have a consultation with our dentist in Salt Lake City, UT, Dr. Bishop. Call us at (801) 274-2500 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.
2120 E 3900 S #102, Salt Lake City, UT 84124
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