Both dental implants and dental bridges are fixed options for replacing one or more missing teeth. In this blog, our Stayner dentists help you determine which option may be right for your unique oral health needs.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are fixed dental appliances that literally "bridge" the gap left by missing teeth. They are used to replace one or more missing teeth. As they are permanently fixed to the teeth on both sides of the gap, they can only be taken off by your dentist, not like dentures. These could also be called "permanent partial dentures."
How to take care of your dental bridges
After the installment of your dental bridge, you are able to care for it the same way as your natural teeth. If you take care of it properly by flossing and brushing regularly, your bridge should last for many years. It's also highly recommended that you keep seeing your dentist on a regular basis.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Titanium is a type of metal that has the ability to form bonds with natural bone, making it a secure and stable foundation for an artificial tooth. A dental crown (cap) is then placed on top of the implant to serve as the artificial tooth replacement.
When used together, the dental crown and implant have a very similar appearance and feel to a natural tooth.
How to take care of your dental implants
As with bridges, you should take care of your dental implants just like your natural teeth. This includes a strong brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist.
How will I know which option is right for me?
There are advantages to both dental bridges and dental implants, the best option for you will be based on your financial situation and oral health requirements.
The procedure for placing dental implants is much more invasive than applying dental bridges. But, dental implants could often provide a more natural feel and appearance.
On top of this, in order for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you need to have enough volume in your jaw bone. If there isn't enough bone in your jaw, you still might be able to get an implant, but you would need to undergo a bone grafting procedure first to ensure that the implant could be supported. As a result, the implant process would take longer and be somewhat more invasive.
At the end of the day, the only way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult with your dentist.