Although we all wish our natural teeth would last our entire lifetime without any issues, the reality is most adults will face some teeth problems along the road of life. If you are trying to determine the best way to replace a missing tooth, you might be considering dental implants and bridges as two of your main options. If you are missing the majority of your teeth, dentures may be a better solution. However, if you simply need to replace a single tooth, a dental implant or bridge can be the best solution. If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Mesquite to help you with tooth replacement, contact our office. We will be happy to schedule a consultation to help you determine the best choice for your needs.
So what is the difference between a dental implant and a bridge? Read on to find out the differences and the pros and cons of each.
A Dental Bridge
If you are missing a tooth, one option for replacement is to build a bridge of sorts to hold a new tooth in place. When a dental bridge is used, your dentists will install a pair of crowns on the natural teeth surrounding the gap where your missing tooth belongs. These crowns form pillars for a bridge, which will hold your artificial tooth. The artificial tooth will fill in the missing gap and is held in place by the bridge created from the support of the two surrounding teeth.
Pros: A dental bridge is often chosen due to the ease of the procedure. A dental bridge can usually be completed in a couple of visits to your dentist. It is a cheaper method for replacing a tooth as well.
Cons: The problem with dental bridges, and why many dentists are steering away from them, is that the crowns used as support for the bridge will lead to a repositioning of bone tissue. This can cause instability and will also lead to a shorter lifespan for the teeth affected. Crowns must be replaced approximately every seven years, which is tough on the teeth being used as support.
When you opt for a dental implant, a small titanium anchor will be inserted into your actual jawbone in the location of your missing tooth. This anchor point will act as an artificial root for your new tooth. The dentist will secure the new, artificial tooth to the anchored cylinder.
Pros: Dental implants are one of the best options for replacing missing teeth. Due to the anchor point being placed into your actual jawbone, a dental implant provides the best jaw health and support. It will allow your surrounding teeth to remain healthy and strong. Dental implants also look the most natural and feel the most natural. An implant will also last much longer than a bridge. You can anticipate a good 25 years of use from a quality dental implant.
Cons: The biggest deterrent to dental implants is the procedure itself. Since the anchor point is being placed into your jawbone, a multi-stage surgery is required. Dental implants also require a longer healing period.
So which option is right for you? The best way to determine this is to set up an appointment with our team. We can help you decide on a bridge or a dental implant based on your needs.