Dental Implants vs Dental Bridge
What’s the Difference Between Implants and Bridges?
A dental implant is a titanium structure that is implanted into your jaw. It acts as “root” to which a new tooth can be attached. A dental bridge doesn’t go into the jaw at all. Instead, it is attached to the teeth on either side of the gap. Those teeth will need a little work to prepare them for the bridge, but there’s no work to be done beneath the gum line.
Why do Dentists Say Implants are Better?
Your jawbone has work to do. When that work is taken away, the bone itself begins to deteriorate. The lack of stimulus when you are chewing tells it that it doesn’t need to work anymore, so the body begins to reabsorb the bone.
When you have an implant, on the other hand, your jaw receives the same stimuli it would get if you had natural teeth. The message to your body is: “We still need that jawbone, so look after it!”
Apart from keeping your jaw in top form, implants have an added advantage: they’re much longer-lasting. A bridge will generally last between ten and twenty years. That’s quite a respectable amount of time but implants last even longer. There are records of implants that have been in place for 40 years, and they’re still going strong.
Finally, we do have to prepare the teeth that support the bridge. That means “damaging” them so that they’re ready to anchor the bridge. Regretfully, those teeth are weakened. When we insert implants, neighbouring teeth aren’t affected at all.
What About Cost?
When we talk about oral health, cost is invariably a sensitive issue. It’s certainly true that implants are costlier than bridges, but the benefits of implants, including their longer lifespan, mean that they could actually wind up costing you less in the long-term.
In addition, your oral health will be better with implants since the jawbone continues to regenerate. It doesn’t do that with implants. What is better health worth? It’s not something you can quantify easily.
Can You Get Implants?
Although implants are the best solution to missing teeth, not all patients qualify for them.
Firstly, the jaw and teeth should be fully developed, so that precludes youngsters who are still growing. If you’re a smoker, there’s a greater chance that your implant won’t settle in as it should. You need to quit to enjoy the highest possible chance of success.
Finally, certain health conditions may mean that you require additional treatments before you are ready for an implant – or it may simply be inadvisable for you to get one.
Discuss Your Tooth Replacement Options with Your Dentist
Missing teeth should be replaced. It’s not just a matter of looks, or even of function. Your teeth will be inclined to move to fill gaps, and that has an adverse effect on the alignment and sturdiness of your teeth. Tooth replacement could mean getting dentures, bridges, or implants. Although the latter are best for most people, you may have to settle for one of the former options.
Your cosmetic dentist is the best person to assess your tooth replacement options. He or she will also be able to give you personalized advice based on your general health. So, if you’re wondering whether to choose dental bridges or dental implants, your dentist is the person to talk to. Make your appointment and get ready to give the world your best smile.