When deciding on a restorative solution it is important to look at all of your options to help you decideon the best option that works for you. A common question patients face is if they should choose adental bridge or dental implants when they are looking for a tooth replacement solution. Both arerestorative solutions for missing teeth, and it is helpful to understand the differences. At our practice,we provide our patients with a thorough consultation to examine their teeth and mouth, and discuss thedifferences between all of the restorative options available. Our staff works closely with our patients tohelp choose the best solution.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge isa fixed restoration that fills the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges areanchored to one or more neighboring teeth also known as abutment teeth. Bridges can be supported bynatural teeth or by dental implants. The false teeth are in-between and are called pontics.
How Do Dental Bridges Work?
During your first appointment we prepare the neighboring teeth. The preparation for a bridge involvesremoving part of the enamel to allow room for the crown. The crowns are placed over the neighboringteeth. Impressions of your teeth are takento make the bridge in the lab,and temporary bridges areused while you wait for your permanent bridge.
Patients return to the office,and we remove the temporary bridge to prepare for the permanent bridge.The new bridge is installed,and we check to make sure the bridge is comfortable,and the perfect fit.Patientsmay have to return to our officeagainto ensurethe bridge is working well with your bite. Oncewe know the bridge fits properly we will cement the bridge in place.
How Long Will Dental Bridges Last?
Dental bridges last around 10-15years. Bridgesdoinvolve using some of your natural teeth, and this cancause your bridge to fail over time. The teeth around the bridge arestillvulnerable to decay and diseasewhich can attribute to the life of the bridge. Patients must practice good oral hygiene habits at home tokeep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. We recommend brushing twice a day and flossing toensure youcarefullycleanaroundboth the falseand natural teeth. Visiting our office regularly can helpto keep yourteeth clean,and your bridge looking and feeling great.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
- Surgery is not required
- Dental bridges tend to be lesscostly compared to implants
- Jawbone density is not an issue with bridges
- Overall the bridge procedure is less invasive compared to dental implants
What Are Dental Implants?
Implants are a permanent solution for patients that have missing, broken, or damaged teeth. They aredurable,and act similar to a screw that is placed into the jawbone. The screw acts like an artificial toothroot, and provides a strong base for one or more artificial teeth. Implants require a healing periodtogive the implant time to fuse to the jawbone. Thisprocess allows the implant to function just like anatural tooth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants require multiple appointmentsin our office,and the process takes a few months. Thefirst step involves placing the implant into the patient’s jawbone. Once this is done there is a healingperiod where we must give the implant time to fuse to the jawbone. This process is known asosseointegration.
Part of our implant evaluation process is to determine if the patient has adequate bone in the jaw tosupport the implants. If needed, bone grafting can be done to give patients the bone required to providethe necessary support. Once the healing process is complete the patient returns to our office,and anabutment or connector is placed on top of the implants. This allows the crown to be secured to theimplant. Custom crowns are made to match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth. Temporarycrowns may be used while patients wait for the permanent crowns to be installed.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are durable and last upwards of 25 years,or a lifetime if they are cared for properly.Implants are built out of titanium,and provide patientswith a permanent solution for missing teeth.Caring for dental implants is similar to caring for natural teeth,and we recommend practicing good oralhygienehabits at home to keep your implants looking and feeling great.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Dental implants are long lasting,and are a permanent restorative solution
- Easy to carefor
- Implants function like natural teeth
- Chewing power is restored with dental implants
- Speech and overall appearance are improved
- Patients can eat all the foods they normally would with implants
- Dental Implants tend to cost more, butare a good investmentbecause they are built to last
Looking For a Dentist to Provide Dental Implants or Dental Bridges?
Choosing the best restorative option is a big decision, and our team is here to help. Our consultationprocess will answer all of yourquestions, and we will discuss what option may work best for you. Wewant our patients to be proud of their smile, and our team works to give patients the highest level ofcare. We welcome our patients in a comfortable and relaxing environment using stateof the arttechnology. Creating beautiful smiles is what we do, and we take pride in giving patients a smile theycan be proud of.
If you are interested in finding out more about your restorative options such as dental implants ordental bridges, contactour office today to schedule your consultation.