When you’re missing teeth, you have options to help restore your smile. Your dentist may tell you that you have the choice between a dental implant or a dental bridge—both of which can help restore functionality and the appearance of your teeth. However, how can you know which one is best? Whether you choose a dental implant or a dental bridge, you should know which will work best under what circumstances. Both are great choices, but one will suit your smile better! Here’s when bridges and implants are the right choice in what situations.
Consider Bridges for Adjacent Teeth with Problems
Dental bridges will require that teeth on either side of your gap have a small amount of enamel removed in order to support the bridge. Your dentist will fix crowns to these teeth, which will effectively support a dental crown in the middle, therefore closing your gap. If your adjacent teeth will eventually need dental crowns anyway, a bridge is likely your best option.
Implants Are Best for Durability
Your dentist may suggest a dental implant to replace your missing tooth because of their durability. Dental implants have become an excellent option for missing teeth—in fact, they last for life! A titanium screw will be inserted into your jaw to fuse with your jawbone. This will require some healing time, but when you’re ready, your dentist will fix a crown onto the end of the implant. While your crown will eventually need to be replaced, your implant never will.
Dental Bridges When Jaw Bone Is a Problem
Since dental implants require that you have enough bone in your jaw to support proper healing of the implant, you may not qualify for this procedure. If you’ve been missing your teeth for a while, your body may have already compensated for the missing tooth by actively losing bone in your jaw. When you don’t have enough jawbone to support a dental implant or even mini dental implants, bridges will likely be best choice for speedy healing and a great look!
Great Oral Health? Consider Dental Implants
While dental bridges can be ideal when neighboring teeth have large cavities or will need crowns anyway, dental implants are an ideal choice when you have great oral health. This is because your dental implant will not affect your other teeth. Your dental implant will actually work to support the adjacent teeth because it stimulates bone growth in the jaw. Your adjacent teeth should be healthy as well as your gums in order to facilitate proper healing of the implant.
How to Decide?
Talk with your dentist, who can help you make a decision based on look, cost, and your neighboring teeth. While dental bridges are less expensive up front, they will need to be replaced after about ten years, whereas dental implants last for life. Bridges require less time to be completed, but dental implants are resistant to decay and disease.
Bridges were your only choice in the past, but now you have dental implants! Ask your dentist which will be best for you based on your unique smile, and don’t hesitate to get your teeth replaced as soon as possible so that you have all of your options when you make your decision!