Bridges vs Implants: What is Right for You?
Losing a tooth as an adult is nothing like it is as a child. Instead of money and fairy visits, tooth loss just means a major blow to your appearance, self-confidence, comfort, and health.
If you're ready to smile again, you need to understand the two most common tooth loss solutions: dental implants and dental bridges.
Both have specific pros and cons, and we’re here to guide you through both so you can decide which is best for you.
What are Dental Implants?
The entire mouth structure – jaw bone, ligaments, nerves – is a bit more complicated than many people think. When any part of this structure is compromised, such as when a tooth is removed, the surrounding area begins deteriorating.
Dental implants replace the tooth structure with metal posts. Over the next few months, new bone typically grows around the metal implant. Afterwards, the metal structure will be tested by your dental provider for stability. Once secure, your dentist will place a crown atop your metal implant and seal it.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Less burden placed on surrounding teeth
Promotes bone and gum healing
Reduces long-term risk to jaw bone
Should last the rest of your life
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Can be costly, especially if performed for multiple teeth
Takes longer to complete
Oral surgery might be needed
Can take months to heal
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges attach to your healthy teeth, surrounding the gap and creating a "bridge" to complete your smile. Most traditional bridge procedures involve shaving down the teeth on either end of the bridge.
Caps are then placed atop these teeth, and the bridge teeth replace the ones that are missing.
Sometimes, if only one tooth is gone, a procedure known as a winged bridge is embedded into the teeth at the ends of the bridge, rather than capping the teeth.
If there isn’t a tooth at both ends of the bridge, a cantilevered bridge is used instead. In this case, the bridge is attached only to one tooth and "hangs" in the gapped space, fitting snugly over the gums.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
No bone grafting required
Much quicker process than dental implants
Disadvantages of Dental Bridges
Places great strain on surrounding mouth structures, specifically the teeth to which it's attached
Rarely is long-lasting
Long-term issues, such as bone loss, continue advancing even though the cosmetic gap has been addressed
Which is Right For You—Dental Implants or Dental Bridges?
We’d love to give you a one-size-fits-all solution in this article, but the truth is, only you and your dentist can make the decision between dental implants and dental bridges.
Give us a call today so we can give you personalized dental care. We’ll work with you to find the best solution, one that’s tailored to your unique needs. Reach out and schedule a consultation appointment with us today. We are located in North Pole, Alaska, between the Eielson air force base and Fairbanks. We look forward to meeting you and brightening your smile!