Dental bridges and dental implants are both effective tooth replacement options that can help to restore the appearance and function of your smile. Here, our Smithers dentists will share advice on selecting the treatment option that is most appropriate for your specific oral health requirements.
Features of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are fixed dental appliances that literally "bridge" the gap left by missing teeth. They are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Because they are permanently attached to the teeth on either side of the gap, unlike dentures, they can only be safely removed by a dentist. They are also known as "permanent partial dentures."
How to care for your dental bridges
Once your dental bridge has been installed, you can treat it in the same way that you would treat your natural teeth. Your bridge should last for many years if you maintain it properly with regular brushing and flossing. You should also continue to see your dentist on a regular basis.
Features of Dental Implants
A dental implant is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Titanium is a type of metal that has the ability to form bonds with natural bone, making it a secure and stable foundation for an artificial tooth. A dental crown (cap) is then placed on top of the implant to serve as the artificial tooth replacement.
When used together, the dental crown and implant have a very similar appearance and feel to a natural tooth.
How to care for your dental implants
Like with bridges, you should take care of your dental implants just like your natural teeth. This includes a strong brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist.
Deciding Which Tooth Replacement Option is Right for You
The placement of dental implants is significantly more invasive than the placement of dental bridges. However, dental implants can often appear and feel more natural than dental bridges.
In addition, for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you must have a sufficient volume of jaw bone. If you don't have enough bone in your jaw, you may still be able to get an implant, but you would need to undergo a bone grafting procedure first to ensure that the implant could be supported. As a result, the implant process would take longer and be somewhat more invasive.
At the end of the day, the only way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult with your dentist.