Have a tooth that needs to be replaced, and you're considering all your different options? You may be deciding between a dental bridge or an implant, and not sure which is best. Here is what you should know about these two dental procedures so you can figure out the one that is the best fit for you.
1. Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is typically going to replace a missing tooth that is between two healthy teeth. This is because it uses the surrounding teeth to support the bridge. However, to install a bridge, the surrounding healthy teeth need to be prepared to support that bridge. This involved removing part of the healthy tooth so that a crown can be placed on top of it, which is what the dental bridge is attached to.
What is great about the dental bridge process is that it is a fast way to replace a missing tooth. It only takes two visits to get the job done, which are only a couple of weeks apart. The only reason that there is a waiting period is that the bridge needs to be created to fit your mouth perfectly.
Some people do not like dental bridges because they are difficult to keep clean. You do need to floss underneath the bridge, which can be hard to do. Bridges also may need to be replaced in the future if they become damaged.
2. Dental Implants
An implant will replace a missing tooth by installing a titanium root into the jawbone. They do not require any other teeth to support the implant, so they can even be used for real molars. Patients love dental implants because they are easy to keep clean over the years due to them acting like a natural tooth. An implant also can last a lifetime once it is installed and the health of the gums is maintained. Implants can help reduce bone loss because the titanium root actually stimulates the jawbone just as if it was a natural tooth.
However, an implant will be much more expensive than a dental bridge, and may not be covered by insurance. Dental implants also take a while to install, since it will take several months for the jawbone to heal around the implant and make the post ready for the final crown that is placed on the post.
Talk to your dentist if you are still undecided about getting cosmetic dental bridges or implants.