Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridge to Replace Missing Teeth
Missing teeth will negatively affect your daily life and ultimately affect your overall health. Since tooth loss has such profound effects on one’s life, replacing missing teeth should be a top priority among patients. Two popular options that provide a lifelike appearance and improved oral function are dental implants and dental bridges. Listed below is helpful information regarding how each of these tooth replacement methods work, coupled with some details on their benefits.
A bridge is a permanent prosthetic that is crafted from a series of custom-made crowns. Attached to biological teeth, a bridge fills in the gap of a missing tooth or a series of missing teeth. While a bridge is often deemed more functional and comfortable than dentures, it does have some limitations. Some patients experience bone atrophy at the site of tooth loss and may develop periodontal disease because food and plaque can buildup beneath the bridge.
Of all prosthetic options, dental implants are the closest thing to biological teeth. This is because implants replace the crown and root of a lost tooth. Once a patient is deemed a candidate for dental implants, the process begins with an oral surgeon embedding a titanium post into the jawbone. This post will ultimately serve as a missing tooth’s root. As bone fuses to the post, it will become stabilized.
After stabilization is complete, a manmade crown is attached to an abutment on the post. The crown fills in the visible structure of a lost tooth and provides a sturdy surface to bite down and chew food. If a patient desires a very natural looking prosthetic, he or she can choose a porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crown, both of which are tooth-colored. Unlike dentures, implants are not removed and therefore can be cared for like biological teeth. Patients will brush and floss their teeth and gums as normal. Implants differ from bridges because they replace lost tooth structure beneath the gums.
Stabilized implants in patients with healthy bone mass can last for decades and even up to a lifetime. To learn more, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to reserve a consultation with our oral surgeon.