Dental Implants or Bridges: Which Is Right for You?

Juliet D'cruz

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In the US alone, about 120 million people are missing at least one tooth. If, for any reason, you’re missing a tooth or a few, you can either choose to get dental implants or bridges. Both options are used to replace missing teeth and can improve your smile and overall oral function.

Should I get a dental implant or a bridge?

Deciding whether to get dental implants or bridges may seem like a daunting task. However, the best option will highly depend on how many teeth you’re missing, your overall general health, and the condition of your jaw.

Let’s look at the difference between dental implants and bridges and help you make an informed decision.

What You Need To Know About Dental Implants

Dental implants replace the crown and the root of the tooth, making it more stable.

When you’re missing a single tooth, your dentist will recommend a single tooth dental implant with a porcelain crown and a titanium root. The process involves inserting an artificial tooth into your jaw bone, which is akin to giving you a whole new tooth.

Some of the most significant advantages of dental implants are that they help prevent bone loss and keep other teeth moving. They also feel incredibly natural, just like having your old teeth and preventing your teeth from shifting. With proper maintenance, your dental implants could last a lifetime.

If the surrounding teeth have significant decay, implants are the best option. Click to learn more about dental implants and why they may be the ideal option.

On the downside, dental implants take a significant amount of time to install. It could be months before the whole process is complete, especially if you’re missing several teeth. Dental implants also involve a surgical procedure, and if you have experienced jaw bone loss, you’ll need bone grafting before dental implant placement.

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What You Need To Know About Dental Bridges

Dental bridges, on the other hand, are attached to abutment teeth. These are the teeth surrounding the other missing tooth or teeth. The dentist has to remove a significant portion of the abutment teeth to fit the dental bridge.

If the abutment teeth are not strong enough to support the dental bridges, your dentist will recommend three options. They could recommend either cantilever bridges, Maryland bridges, or implant-supported bridges. On the upside, getting dental bridges requires two appointments.

During the first appointment, the dentist will file down the abatement teeth and take the impression of your teeth to create your bridges. During the second visit, the dentist will bond the bridge to your teeth using dental cement.

One of the top reasons you may choose dental bridges is that most dental insurance policies cover the procedure, albeit partially if not fully. Dental bridges cost less and are also easier to install when you have suffered bone loss or have other complications.

On the downside, dental bridges don’t last as long as implants and may need replacing in five to 15 years. Given that dental bridges don’t have roots, they can also be weak and leave you with a weaker bite. Bone loss may also continue unabated since they don’t replace the roots of your missing teeth.

Dental Implants or Bridges?

If you have been wondering whether to get dental implants or bridges, this article compares the two in a simple way to help you understand.

Ultimately, most people prefer dental implants as they appear more natural and are much stronger. Still, you should discuss the best option with your dentist, depending on your current oral and overall health.

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