Dental implants or bridges, which do you choose?
Losing teeth is traumatic, and this is true whether it is the result of an accident or a scheduled extraction. If you have lost one or more teeth, then you know it can also be extremely uncomfortable when you chew and make you feel self-conscious when you smile, laugh or talk.
The good news is that modern dentistry provides natural-looking, well-fitting replacements. Here are a few facts about your options for missing teeth, and why it is better for your health not to put off getting it done.
Dental bridges vs implants
Dental bridges and implants are the two methods used for replacing missing teeth today, and since both methods are widely used, you may find it difficult to decide which option is best for you.
- Bridges are specially designed prosthetic teeth that are attached to surrounding teeth to fill in missing gaps. They are typically made from porcelain and, unlike the bridges of yesteryear, they fit so perfectly no one will be able to tell you weren’t born with them. This is a faster, less costly solution for missing teeth, and it also does not require surgery.
- Dental implants are the permanent solution for tooth replacement, and they more closely resemble human teeth than any other alternative. This method, however, also involves a greater investment of your time and money, and it requires surgery. The end result means your replacement teeth look amazing, are permanently implanted and require only the same care you give your natural teeth.
Why replace missing teeth?
When gaps exist between teeth, other teeth that are adjacent to those spaces will start to shift. This movement causes your bite to change which can lead to other long term health problems.
When your bite becomes misaligned, your body’s intuitive response is to try to force your teeth to fit back together. This often leads to bruxism, or teeth grinding.
Not only will this wear your teeth down over time, but it can also cause a painful disorder of the TM joint. Additionally, gaps, and the surrounding teeth, become harder to clean and may increase your risk of further tooth decay.
If you would like to learn more about the best way to replace missing teeth, consult with a dentist who can:
- Examine your teeth and assess your specific need
- Discuss the best option for your situation
- Answer your questions