Extracted and missing teeth raise several concerns. One of these is an increased risk of infection and low self-esteem. The solution to these concerns is a proper replacement. Do you have a missing or extracted tooth? If so, you need to determine the right treatment option for you. Two of the most common treatment options today are dental implants and dental bridges.
In the past, dental bridges were the only treatment choice. They involve more than just the replacement of a missing tooth. Dentists had to prepare the adjacent teeth by removing their enamel to fabricate the dental bridge.
But with dental implants, dentists replace the individual missing tooth for permanent and stronger results. However, a dental bridge may be the better option if the neighboring teeth need caps or crowns in the future or have large fillings.
If you lost your tooth a long time ago, you probably have receded bone and gum. Hence, you may need to undergo additional procedures before getting the dental implant. To make an informed choice, you need to discuss the pros and cons of each procedure with your dentist.
Bridges are less durable than dental implants. So if you are looking for lifelong protection, you should choose implants, which have a metal cylinder typically made of titanium. Dental implants, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, naturally fuse with the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration.
Since the material used to make them is so strong, dental implants are very resistant to gum problems and decay. On the other hand, a dental bridge will last for approximately 10 years. Furthermore, a portion of the natural tooth will remain beneath the bridge.
So over time, normal wear and tear may cause it to fall out more easily. Also, the remaining tooth structure will be susceptible to gum disease and decay.
A dental implant will make it easier to maintain your oral health. On the other hand, your dentist will fix or cement the dental bridge in your mouth if you opt for it. The process will involve the connection of at least three crowns to fill the space left by the missing tooth. It often creates challenges in flossing and brushing teeth.
Consequently, dental bridges require meticulous home care and additional oral hygiene instructions. For example, you will need to thread the floss under your false tooth when flossing. In contrast, a dental implant replaces the missing tooth without affecting the neighboring teeth. This makes regular oral care more successful. It makes it possible to brush and floss normally.
If you have some concerns about aesthetics, your dentist or prosthodontist should be able to advise you. In most cases, dental implants provide more appealing results because dentists can make the replacement tooth look like the patient’s natural enamel.
Cost is another factor to consider when choosing between a dental implant and a bridge. Initially, a dental bridge will be cheaper. However, you may need to have it replaced in the future. On the other hand, a dental implant may seem expensive at first. But since it is permanent, it may prove to be more cost-effective over time.
To learn more about dental implants and dental bridges, visit Midtown Dental Center at our office in Atlanta, Georgia. You can call (404) 874-0800 today to schedule an appointment.