While tooth loss is a drag, patients have incredibly durable and lifelike options for restoring their smiles and oral function. When it comes to replacing one lost tooth, the two most common approaches involve either placing a dental implant with a dental crown or attaching a bridge to neighboring teeth.
Dental implants and bridges are different in the way they replace missing tooth structure and in most cases, dental implants are more advantageous to preserving oral health. Our team offers helpful information for patients weighing their options.
Bridges replace the crowns of teeth, which is the visible structure above the gums. A bridge is a custom-made restoration that features tooth-shaped caps that connect to neighboring existing teeth. As the name of this prosthetic suggests, it literally bridges a gap between teeth. Permanently cemented, a bridge is not removed as dentures are. Instead, it is cleaned with brushing like natural teeth. Since bridges rest on top of the gums, food and debris may collect underneath the prosthetic. Given that this is a common issue, most dentists will recommend that a patient use a water irrigator to clean between the prosthetic and the gums. The issue of bacteria and debris building up underneath a bridge along with the prevalence of bone atrophy are some well-known drawbacks to replacing lost teeth with dental bridges.
Like bridges, dental implants complete the visible gaps in a smile; however, they also feature another component that addresses the loss of tooth structure beneath the gums. An implant consists of a titanium post that when embedded into the jawbone, will function like the roots of teeth. The tooth restoration process is completed (once the implant is stabilized by bone) with a dental crown. A crown is a tooth-shaped prosthetic that is made in a dental laboratory. The crown is attached via an abutment and will allow patients to eat and speak with confidence and ease. Dental implants are beneficial because they are low maintenance, very durable, and incredibly lifelike. They prevent bone atrophy, too.
To find out if dental implants are right for you, call our office to reserve a professional consultation.