Dealing with missing teeth is never easy. It can have adverse effects on your oral and overall well-being. Commonly, missing teeth are associated with jawbone deterioration, facial sagging, premature aging, crookedness shifting of teeth, poor dental hygiene, and impaired bite and speech abilities.
When you lose one or multiple teeth, you must replace them as soon as possible to prevent these effects from happening. Dental implants, bridges, and dentures are the available options when it comes to tooth replacements. This article will focus on two of the most superior options – Dental implants and bridges.
Single tooth dental implants can replace a lost or severely decayed or diseased tooth. An implant is an artificial tooth used to replace a missing tooth. It consists of titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth’s roots.
The implant fuses with the underlying jawbone in a process called osseointegration and becomes a part of your mouth. Once the implant has healed, which takes approximately three to six months, a dental crown is placed for added strength and protection. If you don’t have sufficient jawbone structure, you may have to undergo bone grafting before the implant is placed.
A bridge is a dental appliance used to replace missing teeth. A single bridge can replace one or more missing teeth, say three to five missing teeth next to each other. Fitting a dental bridge is typically straightforward and doesn’t require surgery, except for implant-supported bridges.
A bridge is supported by dental crowns attached to healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. When fitting bridges, the dentist begins by shaving the teeth that hold the dental crowns.
Next, they take impressions and x-rays of the teeth and mouth and send them to a dental lab to create the dental bridge. Once the bridge is ready, it’s fitted, and you are good to go.
For several reasons, choosing single dental implants over dental bridges might be a good idea. These include:
When it comes to strength and stability, a bridge is incomparable to an implant. Implants are fixed directly into the jawbone, and they rest beneath the gums.
Therefore, they act and have strength and stability like that of the natural tooth. This means that you can go back to enjoying your favorite diet without restrictions.
In contrast, bridges are supported by dental crowns attached to neighboring teeth, making them less stable. At times, especially when exposed to high pressure, a bridge can break, loosen, or even fall out.
Undoubtedly, dental implants are a long-term investment. When well installed and cared for, they will serve you for a lifetime. On the other hand, Bridges can only last for about 10-15 years, after which replacement is necessary.
Dental implants are directly fixed into the jawbone. They don’t require support from surrounding teeth. By fusing with the jawbone, they maintain and encourage jawbone growth, improving your oral health.
When fitting bridges, the adjacent tooth enamel is trimmed down to allow the crowns to fit perfectly. This messes up the tooth’s structure, weakening the teeth and compromising your long-term oral health.
While both implants and bridges are designed to look like natural teeth, implants tend to look more natural than bridges. The fact that implants become a part of your mouth makes them more convincing than bridges.
Once an implant has fused with the underlying jawbone, it will be indistinguishable from the rest of the teeth. It will feel, look, and function just like your natural tooth.
This means that you can go ahead to enjoy your favorite foods and interact with new people without worrying or feeling embarrassed.
Since an implant is made to mimic your natural tooth in every way, caring for it is easier and more convenient than caring for bridges. With implants, you just brush and floss the same you do with your natural teeth. In contrast, food particles can get trapped underneath a dental bridge, making brushing and flossing much more difficult.
Looking at the factors we’ve discussed above, it’s evident that dental implants are the superior option. Still, since each patient’s needs vary, it’s best to consult your dentist before deciding on implants or bridges.
Contact Mid-Island Dental Associates today for more information about dental implants or single dental implant procedures.