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The Difference Between Dental Implants and a Dental Bridge

No one likes having a gap in their smile. Not only does having a missing tooth or a set of missing teeth get in the way of properly chewing food and biting down, but it also doesn’t look good. Because of this, many people hide their teeth when one or more are missing—which can affect their self-esteem. Instead of leaving a gap where a tooth or set of teeth are missing, it’s extremely important to replace the tooth or teeth. Two of the most common options for the replacement of a tooth or multiple teeth are dental implants and dental bridges.

What Are Implants?

Dental implants are dental prosthetics that involve the placement of titanium rods or a metal frame to hold one or more missing teeth in place. This involves a surgical procedure, as the fixtures need to go under the gumline and must fuse with the jawbone.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are dental appliances that involve the placement of a bridge (false tooth or set of teeth) that is generally help in place with one or more abutments. Sometimes a frame is used instead. When the abutments are placed, healthy teeth are reshaped to allow the false crowns to fit over the healthy teeth.

Why Do I Need a Tooth Replacement?

Whether you decide to go with a dental bridge or implants, it’s extremely important to have a missing tooth or set of missing teeth replaced for a variety of reasons. One reason is the strength of your bite, and your ability to chew. A gap in your teeth can make it harder to bite down. Having that gap filled with implants or a bridge will provide additional bite support—making biting down and chewing easier.

Another reason for the replacement of a tooth or teeth is to prevent teeth from migrating. Over time, the gap where a tooth or teeth are missing will be filled with the healthy, surrounding teeth. This not only looks unappealing, but it can also lead to some major problems with your oral health. You may find that your teeth impact each other, severely damaging healthy teeth.

Because migrating isn’t always horizontal, your teeth may fall at odd angles. This can make it extremely difficult to properly brush and floss. Because of this, you will be more susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease and root pulp infections.

Tooth replacements can help to keep healthy teeth in place, provide bite support and provide protection from disease and decay.

Which Option Is Right for Me?

While many patients prefer dental implants due to their durability and longevity, not all patients are candidates for implants. Because of this, or due to cost, a patient may decide to go with a dental bridge instead.

Speak with your dentist about whether or not you are a candidate for a dental implant. If you are, see if an implant is the best solution for your needs, and your budget.

If you're curious about whether Dental Implants are right for you, learn more specifically about our dental implant process at Downtown Dental Excellence today. We're available and ready to answer any and all questions about dental implants and optimal oral health.

Just interested in learning more about dental implants? Read here for information on whether or not you need dental implants.