Are you missing one or a few natural teeth? Dental bridges and implants are one of your best permanent tooth replacement treatment options. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants and bridges are fixed, so you don’t have to worry about them snapping out of place when eating, speaking, or sneezing. Similarly, both treatments effectively improve your bite function and appearance, improving your overall quality of life.
Read on to learn more about what dental implants and bridges entail and instances when bridges might be a better option than implants.
Tooth implant Vs. Dental bridge: What’s the difference?
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant consists of a tiny titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth’s root. The jawbone heals around the implant post in the process of osseointegration, making it a permanent part of the mouth.
You must have enough bone density to support an implant sufficiently. Otherwise, you might need bone grafting before getting the implant.
After osseointegration, the dentist places an abutment and restoration crown on the implant. The crown mimics your natural tooth’s shape, size, and color – it acts like an artificial tooth. Dental implants can last for a lifetime with proper dental care and hygiene. Visit our dental office for a dental implant in Sugar Land, TX.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth. Dental crowns or frameworks adhered to healthy teeth adjacent to the missing teeth support the bridge. Dental implants can also support dental bridges.
A single bridge can replace more than three missing teeth next to each other. The artificial teeth are customized to match your natural teeth’ size, shape, and color. When well cared for, teeth bridges can last for 15 to 20 years or longer. Contact our dentist for dental bridges in Sugar Land, TX.
When Should You Consider Dental Bridges Over Implants?
Now that you understand what is involved when getting either treatment, you might wonder when a bridge is a better option for replacing teeth than implants. Below are several reasons to consider:
- You have more than one consecutive missing tooth.
While a dental implant might offer better stability and durability, a single implant only replaces a single tooth. Therefore, replacing more than one tooth might be expensive and uncomfortable. A single bridge can replace up to 4 missing teeth next to each other. It’s, therefore, more convenient and affordable than single-tooth implants.
- You don’t have a sufficient jawbone dentist.
You must have enough jawbone density to support a dental implant successfully. A dental bridge is an excellent option if you’ve suffered jawbone loss or damage and don’t want to undergo a bone grafting procedure. Unlike implants, placing bridges doesn’t require surgery.
- You have diabetes.
Diabetes can lower your chances of qualifying for dental implant surgery. People with diabetes experience slower wound healing and weakened immune response, which can increase their risk of post-surgery infections and implant failure.
- You have gum disease.
Good oral health is essential when getting both dental implants and bridges. In cases where managing gum disease might seem harder, getting a bridge is a better option than implants. A dental implant poses higher risks of infections since it requires surgical intervention. Dental bridges’ success rate is higher in people with underlying conditions.
- You smoke.
Like diabetes, smoking results in delayed wound healing, increasing your risk of infections and implant failure. Research shows that about 20% of dental implants placed in smokers fail. Since no wound healing is required when getting a bridge, smoking is unlikely to affect the success of your treatment. Therefore, bridges are better choices for smokers than implants.
- You take certain medications.
Certain medications like selective serotonin reuptake and proton pump inhibitors can increase the risk of implant failure, especially when taken regularly.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Do you need help deciding between dental implants and bridges? Contact Bella Smile Cosmetic and Family Dentistry to book your appointment today.