When it comes to tooth loss, there are a variety of replacement options on the market. However, dental implants and bridges stand out above the rest, as they both are high-quality fixed restorations that appear and feel very natural. How then do you decide between the two? Read this blog from ARTSCI dental to find out.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
Dental implants in Redondo Beach have a major defining attribute that differentiates them from other tooth restorations. Instead of merely replacing the crown portion of the tooth that protrudes from the gum line, it also restores the tooth’s root.
This effectively provides stimulation of the jaw bone, regenerating cells that prevent bone loss. Implants are the only restoration that can preserve jaw bone after tooth loss. An artificial root is created by implanting a titanium post into the jaw.
Over 3 to 6 months, through osseointegration, the implant will fuse with the jaw bone. This also securely holds the restoration in place so it doesn’t move around. You never have to worry about your teeth moving when you speak or chew.
Implants also have a very long lifespan, lasting for a minimum of 25 years, and can last for a lifetime with proper care. They are very convenient because they’re low maintenance and enable you to eat a restriction-free diet.
However, implants aren’t for everyone. Single-tooth implants only replace one missing tooth. If you have extensive tooth loss, we could use implants to securely support a bridge or denture. However, implants are much more expensive than other restorations and take months to heal and fuse with the jaw bone.
You will need healthy gums and sufficient bone density to support implants. We can determine this through X-rays and can perform a bone grafting procedure if you are lacking in bone support. This will, however, add to the cost and time of treatment.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is a restoration that can replace a few missing consecutive teeth in the mouth. It is supported by placing two dental crowns over the supporting teeth on both sides of the gap. These crowns suspend a pontic tooth that is attached to the bridge to fill in the gap where the tooth used to be.
This is another fixed restoration so it’s cemented into place and will not shift around unless it is not fitted properly. Dental bridges cannot prevent bone loss but they can mitigate some of the consequences of bone loss, such as shifting teeth and they can add more support to your facial features.
While dental bridges are a much cheaper and less time-consuming replacement option, they are not as durable and have a much shorter lifespan. A dental bridge will only last for about 5 to 7 years before needing to be replaced. They are also more difficult to clean compared to implants.
They require filing down healthy teeth to prepare them for dental crowns that anchor the bridge. A big advantage of bridges is that they’re accessible to more people because they don’t require bone grafting.
How to Determine What’s Right for You
Ultimately, while both dental implants and bridges have their advantages and disadvantages, it depends on your personal preference and goals. Some patients are not good candidates for implants because they have insufficient bone density, unhealthy gums, or have too many teeth to replace.
On the other hand, patients who want a long-term low maintenance tooth replacement option that can prevent bone loss may prefer implants over bridges.
Book a Restorative Consultation Today!
If you have tooth loss and are wondering if you’re a good candidate for implants or dental bridges, contact us at ARTSCI dental today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Anthony Nguyen.