Teeth replacements have come a long way in the last few decades and the types of dental implants available are growing. The latest and greatest development in the world of dentistry, is arguably, the dental implant. In years past, dentist would prefer to use a treatment wherein a fabricated tooth was affixed to adjacent teeth, thereby creating a dental bridge. Today, dental implants are a very popular choice among dentists because it allows for a permanent tooth and root to be fused to the jawbone. With the growing use of dental implants, many people are left asking, which dental procedure is right for them. Here are some frequently asked dental bridges.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is actually a root replacement. A titanium anchor is inserted into the bone of the jaw. A fabricated tooth acts as the crown and is the visible tooth replacing the tooth that was lost. The new tooth functions and appears just like a natural tooth.
What are the Advantages to a Dental Implant?
Implants are aesthetically pleasing and functional. They are more reliable than a bridge, and will not need replacement in years to come. They are also very resistant to tooth and gum decay. They have greater durability and longevity than a bridge and will last for the rest of your lifetime.
What are the Disadvantages to a Dental Implant?
The downside of a dental implant is that it is a minor surgery and will require the necessary time to heal. Implants, while longer lasting, also come with a more time to plan for the procedure and are more expensive.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge, by contrast, is a prosthesis that is fixed in place and is attached to the natural adjacent teeth. This procedure requires the adjacent teeth to be “prepped” by removing most of the enamel in order to fabricate the bridge to span the gap.
What are the Advantages to a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are esthetically pleasing, function, predictable and reliable. They are less costly, and require less time to prepare for, and recover from the procedure. (While they cost less initially, there might be replacement costs in the future.) This might be your best option if the tooth or teeth have been lost for a long time, because the gum and bone will have receded making a successful implant procedure more difficult.
What are the Disadvantages to a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges require significant removal of the enamel of the adjacent teeth. If those teeth have crowns, they will probably need to be redone. Tooth decay is still a possibility with a bridge, and a root canal might be necessary if the nerves are affected. Bridges have less longevity than an implant.
So Which Option is Right for You?
Ultimately, this is a decision between you and your dentist. Please note that East Valley Dental Professionals does not perform dental implant procedures–we do dental implant reconstruction. This information has been provided for educational purposes only. You are more than welcome to contact us to set up an appointment to discuss which approach is right for you.