Patients who have lost a tooth are typically looking for a solution – fast! With many options and advantages to consider, it can be tough to know which you should choose: a dental implant or dental bridge?
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is anchored directly into the jaw bone. The implant serves as a post to hold a replacement tooth. Implants are compatible with body tissue and are permanent.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is used to fill a gap from a missing tooth. The false tooth (called a pontic) is held in place using a bridge that is anchored by a crown to the teeth either side (known as abutment teeth) of the gap.
Implant vs. Bridge Considerations
Either a dental implant or a dental bridge can serve to replace a missing tooth or teeth. While they are different dental processes, both an implant or a bridge will improve your smile and make you feel more confident. Work with us to determine the best solution for you. Below are some items to give thought to the many considerations of each solution:
Implant vs. Bridge Structures
Dental implants require a sufficient amount of good quality bone for the implant to be placed in. If teeth have been missing for awhile, additional bone graft surgery may be required. If the amount of bone isn’t sufficient or strong enough, a dental bridge may be a better solution here.
A fixed dental bridge requires neighboring teeth to be in good condition so they can support the replacement tooth or teeth. Sometimes, due to loss of bone due to gum disease, the abutment teeth are not a sufficient strength and implants may be considered. If, however, the neighboring teeth to be used with a bridge have large fillings, they will be covered with crowns for a dental bridge and can improve those teeth, too!
Recovery and Timing
Dental implants can take up to 4-6 months before the replacement teeth can be attached. The timing for this solution depends on whether bone grafts are needed and allows the implants to attach firmly to the bone.
For most patients, a dental bridge can be added immediately after extraction or when crowns are placed. While this solution may only be a temporary bridge, while any healing from an extraction site takes place, it does solve the situation of a missing tooth.
If you’re considering how to get missing teeth replaced, contact us! We are experts in both dental implants and dental bridges and can help advise you based on your individual circumstances. We’re here to help get you smiling again!