The Pros and The Cons
Dental implants and bridges are means to fill up gaps between teeth. Though they serve the same purpose, they are constructed differently. An implant is a false tooth that’s attached to a titanium post to be inserted in the jaw bone. A bridge is composed of a false tooth (or a few more) suspended between two crowns that the dentist cements onto prepared natural teeth on either side. Unlike an implant, the false tooth of a bridge isn’t embedded in the jaw bone.
Dental bridges require simpler work than implants. It does not involve surgery, hence it is less traumatic or painful. It is relatively quick, easy and safe. It may take only a couple or so dental appointments over a few weeks. Bridges are also more affordable than implants.
Bridges may not be as natural-looking. People may notice that you are wearing bridges, even if the crown color approximates the color of your natural teeth. Opting for a dental bridge will necessitate preparing your natural teeth to be used as abutments to hold the bridge in place. A considerable amount of enamel structure will have to be worn down as a preparation. Lastly, bridges require replacement periodically, like every 5 to 7 years. The bone tissue beneath the artificial crowns tends to reposition, creating instability leading to a shorter lifespan.
Dental implants, on the other hand, can last a lifetime if they are of high quality. They look, feel and function like your natural teeth. Unlike a bridge, an implant stands on it’s own support without putting strain on other teeth. This helps to protect surrounding teeth. One other advantage is that they stimulate and preserve natural bone growth, preventing bone loss. In a bridge, the artificial teeth do not contact with bone, hence, it does not promote bone health.
A rather serious, multi-stage surgery is required for dental implants and some degree of risk may be encountered, like infection, nerve damage or jaw fracture. And because bone heals slowly, implants may require 3 months at the least for bone to heal. It must be followed-up consistently to see that proper integration of implant to bone is achieved, besides checking for complications. The cost of implants is another issue that makes this option worth a lot of consideration.
Helping You Choose The Best Option
Considering a bridge or an implant for missing teeth? Come to Bellevue Overlake Dental for some serious discussion and we can enlighten you about your two options.