Weighing Your Options: Dental Implants Vs. Bridges for Missing Teeth

Dental implants and bridges are popular tooth replacement options because they are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. However, one has some distinct advantages over the other, making it a better option depending on your needs.

This blog post will look into these factors to help you decide which dental treatment better addresses your dental concern.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are tiny, screw-like metal posts that your dentist or orthodontist places in your jawbone through surgery. They will make an incision on your gum to expose the bone and place the implant before stitching it back together.

Dental implants act as a strong foundation for replacement teeth, either dental crowns, dentures, or bridges. Once the implants fuse to your jawbone (a process that can take several months), they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Overall, it can take up to 8 months or more to complete this treatment.

Since dental implant procedure is invasive and has risks of failure, you need to look for an experienced dentist, such as this dentist in Markham, Ontario.

Benefits of Dental Implants

There are a few reasons why dental implants are a popular tooth replacement solution, such as:

  • They help restore your smile and chewing and speaking abilities affected by missing teeth.
  • Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth.
  • With proper care, they can last for over 25 years.
  • Dental implants preserve bone structure by fusing to your jawbone. Over time, this can help prevent the bone loss that leads to sunken cheeks and a prematurely aged appearance.

Drawbacks of Dental Implants

Along with their benefits, this oral treatment also comes with disadvantages, including:

  • The surgery is invasive and has a long healing process.
  • Dental implants require a strong and healthy jawbone to be successful, which some people do not have.
  • They are also the most expensive tooth replacement option.
  • Like some dental cosmetic procedures, there are many restrictions while the implants are healing, such as being unable to chew hard foods, avoiding smoking, etc. Check this link for dental cosmetic procedures you might need.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A bridge is an artificial tooth (or multiple teeth) that fills the space left behind by one or more missing teeth. The bridge is held in place by attaching it to the surrounding natural teeth or implants. It works by removing a portion of the enamel from the natural teeth on either side of the gap left by your missing tooth (or teeth).

This is necessary to make room for the dental crowns placed over those teeth. They will take impressions of your mouth so that your new bridge and crowns can be made in a dental lab. In the meantime, your dentist places a temporary bridge in your mouth.

You will return for a second appointment when the new bridge and crowns are ready. It is when your dentist removes the temporary bridge and makes sure that the fit of your new one is perfect. Once they are satisfied, the new bridge will be cemented into place.

There are different types of bridges, but the most common is a fixed or traditional bridge.

A fixed bridge comprises two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (called abutment teeth) and one or more false teeth in between (called pontics). The pontics can be made from different materials, such as gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges offer many benefits, including:

  • They help restore your smile and chewing and speaking abilities affected by missing teeth.
  • Dental bridges look and feel like your natural teeth.
  • They are less expensive than dental implants.

Drawbacks of Dental Bridges

There are also some disadvantages to dental bridges, such as:

  • The enamel on the surrounding teeth has to be removed in order to place the bridge, which can cause those teeth to become weaker over time.
  • The bridge may not last as long as a dental implant.
  • The neighboring teeth may eventually shift out of place, which can cause problems with your bite.
  • Your teeth and gums should be healthy enough to support a bridge.

The Bottom Line

Dental implants and bridges are both great tooth replacement options that can restore your smile and improve the quality of your life. If you’re suffering from tooth loss, consider each treatment’s pros and cons to help you decide. Ultimately, talk to your dentist so they will assess your overall oral health and give you the best recommendations.