Did you know that the average adult has at least three decayed or missing teeth?1 It’s more common than you may think and may come with unwanted aesthetic or functional side effects. Luckily, there are dental procedures that can fix chipped or cracked teeth as well as provide you with a total tooth replacement if you’re missing any. If you’re missing a tooth, it is vital that you are fitted with a tooth replacement. Two good options for that are dental implants and dental bridges. Let’s look at these two options.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent solution to replace your missing tooth. The first step is to have a titanium implant post-surgically inserted into your jawbone where you are missing a tooth. Once the implant is integrated into the jawbone (osseointegrated), a process that takes a few months, you will return to the office for the next step. At that point, you will receive a custom crown fitted to the top of the implant. Dental implants are a good option if you have one or more missing teeth and are looking for a permanent replacement solution. They also prevent your jawbone from experiencing further bone degeneration since the implant post replaces the missing tooth root.2
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are often confused with dental veneers. While dental veneers enhance your smile by fitting a shell over your tooth to improve its appearance, the function of a dental bridge is to repair the gap created by missing teeth. Your dentist creates a bridge with two or more crowns (also known as abutment teeth) placed on both sides of the gap in your teeth to anchor it. The surrounding teeth hold the replacement tooth in place, which closes the gap to give you a uniform and natural smile. Dental bridges are a good option if you have a gap you want to fill and you’re looking for a cost-effective tooth replacement option.
When Do You Need Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges?
There are two popular dental procedures to replace missing teeth: dental implants and dental bridges. The best choice for you will depend on the location of your missing teeth, your budget, and whether or not you want to undergo oral surgery.
Most Cost-Effective Solution
If cost is your most significant factor, a dental bridge is your best option. Dental implants cost more than dental bridges, and those costs add up when multiple teeth are missing. A dental bridge is generally more cost-effective than a dental implant.
More Than One Tooth Is Missing
If you’re only missing a single tooth, dental implants get the job done right. But if a number of teeth in a row or an entire section of your mouth is missing teeth, a dental bridge is the most effective solution to cut down on cost and get the replacement teeth you need quickly.
No Invasive Oral Surgery Required
Dental bridges are simple procedures that can be done at your dentist’s office. Dental implants require oral surgery done by a periodontist and must be spread across multiple appointments.
Less Burden to Surrounding Teeth
If you want to minimize the risks to surrounding teeth, dental implants may be the best fit. Dental bridges attach to the teeth on either side of the gap, increasing the strain on your healthy teeth. Dental implants replace the missing tooth and tooth root, therefore protecting the integrity of the jawbone and surrounding teeth.
Lasts A Lifetime
Dental implants provide a permanent solution for a missing tooth or teeth. Dental bridges generally must be replaced around 7-10 years.
|Only one missing tooth
|Less burden to surrounding teeth
|Doesn’t require oral surgery
|Quickly replace missing teeth
Can You Have a Dental Bridge AND a Dental Implant?
The short answer is yes. If you lost several teeth in a row or nearly all your teeth in one section of your mouth, your dentist or periodontist might recommend a mixed approach that combines a dental bridge with dental implants. Whether a mixed approach will work for you or not depends on the severity of tooth loss, the location in your mouth, and what your dentist recommends based on your budget, functional needs, and willingness to undergo oral surgery. Consult the professionals at Albion Family Dental to determine which tooth replacement solution is right for you.
See Albion Family Dental for Dental Implants or Dental Bridges in Albion!
The health of your teeth also impacts your overall health. Fixing any functional issues is a necessity to prevent further problems in the future. Your smile is also the first thing people notice about you. We want to help you make sure you love the way you look. Whether you want dental bridges or dental implants for aesthetic or functional reasons, Albion Family Dental can help. Contact us today to see which tooth replacement solution is right for you. 585-589-9044 Sources:  https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/dental-caries/adults  https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/dental-devices/dental-implants-what-you-should-know