Many patients visiting a general dentist do not fully understand the use of dental X-rays. Patients may wonder if this type of imaging is completely necessary, and it is important to understand the risks and benefits of the procedure. Dental X-ray exposure is safer than ever before, and when patients are knowledgeable about the procedure,…
Dental Implant as an Alternative to Dental Bridge
You can replace a missing tooth with either a dental implant or a dental bridge. These are both common tooth replacement options. They address the same problems, but there are many things to consider before choosing one over the other. Read on to learn about their advantages and disadvantages and discover the one that may suit your needs.
Differences between a dental implant and a dental bridge
Both of these tooth replacement options have their pros and cons. However, more and more people are choosing dental implants over bridges. A variety of factors contributes to this decision. Here are some reasons dental implants can be an alternative to dental bridges.
Dental implants and bridges are constructed differently. An implant is a false tooth that is attached to a metal titanium post, which is inserted into the jawbone. A bridge is made of a false or artificial tooth that is held in place between abutment teeth on different sides of the gap. The replacement tooth of a bridge is not embedded in the gum. In both cases, the replacement teeth are matched to the color of natural teeth, but dental implants look more like natural teeth.
An oral surgeon will consider the location of the missing tooth before deciding on the ideal option. A bridge is suitable for replacing a tooth located toward the back of the mouth. It will not be noticeable when a person smiles. But if the missing tooth is at the front of the mouth, the bridge may not be the right choice because the false tooth may not look natural. A dental implant is suitable for replacing teeth anywhere in the mouth because they are natural-looking.
If teeth that have been extracted or lost are not replaced, the jawbone will shrink over time and this will change the appearance of the face and smile. Dental implants are embedded in the jawbone, which helps to prevent it from shrinking. Implants act like natural teeth and allow people to bite and chew without any problems. However, bone loss may occur under a bridge because it is not rooted in the jawbone. After some time, the bone will deteriorate.
Time and costs
The process of getting a bridge is shorter compared to the dental implant procedure. An oral surgeon can provide a dental bridge after only two visits within a couple of weeks. The process of getting a dental implant takes months, especially because the bone has to grow around the implant post. It may also require more visits depending on several factors, including additional procedures. Dental bridges can be a more affordable option as well.
The right choice
Dental implants and dental bridges all replace missing teeth. But despite the higher costs and time, getting dental implants is more advisable compared to bridges. Implants provide natural-looking teeth, prevent jaw shrinkage and improve functionality. Talk to your oral surgeon to find out more about dental implants and dental bridges. The right option should be the one that meets your individual needs.
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