If you are missing one or more teeth you may be able to replacement them with a dental bridge or implant. Here, our London dentists share the differences between these two options to help you determine which is right for you.
The purpose of dental bridges is to "bridge" the gap left by missing teeth. These fixed dental appliances are used to replace one or more teeth that are missing. Since they are permanently attached to your teeth on both sides of the gap, unlike dentures, your dentist is the only one who can remove them safely. They are also referred to as "permanent partial dentures."
Caring for Dental Bridges
After the installation of your dental bridge, you are able to care for it the same way you would your natural teeth. If you treat it properly with regular flossing and brushing it should be able to last you many years. You should also keep attending regular appointments at your dentist's office.
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.
Caring for Dental Implants
As with dental bridges, you can care for your implants the same way you would your natural teeth. This consists of an excellent flossing and brushing routine and visiting your dentist regularly for routine exams and cleanings.
Knowing Which Replacement is Right for You
Dental implants and dental bridges both have their advantages, and the best option for any given person will depend on that person's oral health needs as well as his or her financial situation.
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.
Also, in order for a dental implant procedure to be completed successfully, your jaw bone has to have enough volume. If there isn't enough bone in your jaw it might still be possible to get a dental implant, but you will require a bone graft first so your implant can be supported. As a result, the implant process will take longer and be 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.