Dental Implant or Dental Bridge?
A dental implant and dental bridge are two standard options when it comes to replacing a missing tooth or replacing missing teeth. There are other options available, but most people usually narrow it down to these two choices.
While there are benefits associated with both options, dental implants offer a far greater range of benefits, without the disadvantages.
Why Choose a Dental Implant?
Dental implants feel, function and look just like your natural teeth when placed in the mouth. They can properly integrate with the jaw bone for a stable and secure fit. This secure fit allows you to eat and enjoy all of your favourite foods. You will not have to avoid certain foods, once your dental implant has properly fused to your jaw bone and healed. Because of their secure fit, dental implants also allow you to speak naturally. There is no worry about a loose or ill fit.
Another benefit of dental implants is that they help to preserve the jaw bone in the area with the previously missing tooth or teeth. Since the dental implant fuses to the bone, all the stimuli from eating and chewing, is present, same as with a natural tooth. These stimuli help to preserve and bone by allowing it to serve a function.
Dental implants cannot develop decay as well, so there is no need to worry about dental decay in that area. When a dental implant is placed, no additional modifications are required to nearby teeth, to accommodate the dental implant.
Choosing a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth by filling in the space or gap, with a replacement tooth, called a pontic. To secure the pontic in the space or gap, the pontic is attached to two dental crowns which are located on opposite ends of the pontic. This is referred to as a three unit bridge because the pontic lies in between both dental crowns. Tooth structure from nearby teeth is removed, for the two dental crowns to fit and cover the teeth. A dental implant does not require any modification since it is placed in the space independent of nearby teeth.
Unlike a dental implant, a dental bridge cannot preserve bone in the area of the missing tooth. Over time, the gum and bone tissue in this area will reduce, leading to a gap under the pontic. This gap can easily trap food debris and lead to swelling or gum infections, in severe cases.
Dental implants can last a lifetime with the proper care, while also improving your quality of life. Dental implants require little maintenance when compared to the possibility of having to replace a dental bridge later on. Talk to your dentist about tooth replacement options that are best suited for you.