Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
Dental Implants vs Dental Bridges
When reviewing options for restoring your smile from missing teeth, dental implants and bridges are an excellent choice. Replacing teeth is not only an aesthetic procedure but it also ensures the integrity of the surrounding natural teeth and will keep your teeth from shifting in your mouth, causing more problems down the road. Deciding which option is best for you can be determined by discussing the options with your dentist for your individual case but for now, we will review some key points for choosing a dental implant or bridge.
Benefits of Dental Implants and Bridges
Both bridges and implants quickly replace a missing tooth. A bridge relies on the teeth on either side of the open site to secure the replacement tooth. The adjacent teeth are prepped and a crown is placed on each of them, with a pontic, or fake tooth, connecting the two crowns. If the neighboring teeth have fillings or onlays that restored decay, a bridge could be the more practical option.
If you are a candidate for an implant, this would only affect the open site with the placement of the implant in the bone at the area being restored. An implant crown is then screwed onto the implant to fill the area and replace the missing tooth. Neighboring teeth are not worked on. Implants are often a more permanent and sturdy solution.
Durability of Bridges and Implants
Dental implants are the more durable restoration. The metal implant is a strong material that is not susceptible to decay or gum recession, allowing them to last a lifetime. Dental bridges are a bit less durable since natural tooth structure remains and is prone to regular wear and tear, including decay which can cause your bridge to require replacement. Dental bridges last roughly 10 years.
Aesthetics come down to the location of the area being restored. If you have had a front tooth extracted, an implant would definitely be the more aesthetically pleasing option since your dentist will be able to make the final tooth look just like the rest of your natural teeth. If the tooth being replaced is in the back, a bridge may suit your needs better. Your dentist can help you determine which will work and look best for you.
Changes to Your Oral Care Routine
Oral care is always important, only more so when you have a major restoration such as a bridge or implant. A bridge is cemented in and will require an extra step during flossing, using a threader so you are alble to floss under the pontic to make sure the gums stay healthy. An implant is easier to clean and care for since it can be treated as a natural tooth. It is imporant to follow through with regular visits to your dentist and to the doctor who placed your implant to make sure the implant is stable and successful.
Speak with your dentist to determine if a dental bridge or dental implant will be the best treatment option to meet your individual needs.
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