Dental technology has advanced greatly in the last 30 years and patients with missing or damaged teeth now have several great treatment options available to them. Dental bridges are the longer established method of replacing teeth and filling the gaps in your smile.
However, dental implants are a newer method that has begun gaining popularity in recent years. But what’s the difference between a dental bridge vs. implant? And which tooth replacement option is right for you?
Most dentists including the skilled professionals at Perkins Dentistry in Dunnellon, FL prefer implants due to their strength, longevity and ease of care. However, numerous factors need to be considered, especially when your tooth loss occurred and the condition of the remainder of your teeth.
Practical Reasons for Both
In the past, a bridge was the go-to treatment for a missing tooth. A dental bridge involves a crown being held in place in the gap in your smile between two adjacent teeth onto which it is mounted using crowns. The adjacent teeth on either side of the gap need to be prepared by removing most of the enamel in order to attach the bridge. With dental implants, your dentist embeds the replacement tooth directly into the jawbone, resulting in a prosthetic tooth that is stronger and does not strain neighboring teeth.
Nonetheless, a dental bridge may be your best option if the neighboring teeth have large fillings from tooth decay issues and may need crowns or caps in the future anyway. If the tooth or teeth were lost a long time ago, the gum and bone tissue will have receded and bone grafts will be required before the placement process can begin. The advantages and disadvantages to both procedures can ultimately be discussed with your Perkins dentist.
Your Oral Care Routine
Your ability to keep your mouth clean and healthy will be simpler and faster with an implant. Dental bridges are cemented in the mouth, and involve at least three crowns connected together to fill the space of the missing tooth. The nature of this design makes effective brushing and flossing challenging. However, since implants replace teeth individually without affecting other teeth, you can brush and floss around an implant as you would your natural tooth. This makes oral care much easier and more effective.
Dental implants are more durable than bridges, providing a restoration that can last a lifetime. The metal cylinder or implant screw that is embedded into the jawbone is normally made of titanium or zirconia and this material bonds with your jawbone naturally. Because it’s comprised of such strong material, the implant itself is resistant to decay but you must still care for your gums and surrounding teeth or your implant may still fail.
The crown (the false tooth mounted on top) may need to be replaced every 15-20 years due to normal wear and tear but can last longer with cautious use and proper care. On the other hand, the average life of a dental bridge, is approximately 10 years and the entire bridge will need to be replaced. And, because a portion of your natural tooth remains beneath it, the tooth structures under the supporting crowns continue to be susceptible to decay.
The cost of the dental bridge is less initially, but it will need to be replaced at some point in the future. Implants – from preparation to final placement – may seem more expensive, but can actually save you money over time. The periodic replacement of the implant crown may even be covered by insurance.
Dental Implants in Dunnellon, FL
Both options are worlds better than living with embarrassment about smiling and chewing due to damaged or missing teeth. Although bridges are an older procedure, dental implants are becoming increasingly popular, and for most patients and dentists are the preferred method of treatment for missing teeth due to their durability and ease of care.
If you are considering dental implants, you need to see an expert dentist. Perkins Dentistry has over 30 years experience restoring smiles. For a consultation with a Perkins dentist about dental implants or any other dental concern, please call (352) 440-5827 or schedule an appointment online today!