August 15, 2017
Modern dentistry makes it easier than ever for people with missing teeth to once again have complete smiles. There are several techniques that dentists use to fill in the gaps, and you might have heard the terms “dental bridge” and “dental implant” being thrown around without really understanding what they mean. Here, we’ll look at both of these types of tooth replacements and talk about which one might be right for your situation.
A bridge is a method that dentists commonly use to replace one or more missing teeth. As the name implies, it “bridges” the gap in your smile. Your dental professional will attach the bridge to your natural teeth on both sides of the gap via crowns. The process requires that your dentist remove some of the enamel from your existing teeth so the bridge will fit properly.
There are also cantilever bridges, in which only one side is attached to a natural tooth. These are often used to replace molars at the back of the mouth.
A bridge might be the best option for you if your teeth have been missing for a long time. This is because you might have lost bone density in your jaw, which would make it more difficult for an implant procedure to work well for you.
If you take good care of your bridge, it may last for a decade or longer.
Your restorative dentist might recommend that you receive implants rather than a bridge. If you choose this option, your dentist will insert titanium posts into your jaw. After you’ve had time to heal sufficiently, the dentist will attach pontics (artificial teeth) to the implants.
This might be a good choice for you whether you have one or several missing teeth. If the gap in your smile is fairly large, your dentist might suggest an implant-supported bridge, which works similarly to a traditional bridge. The difference is that instead of being held in place by crowns, it’s kept secure by the implants.
The great thing about implants is that they will bond to your jaw, helping preserve your natural bone and the shape of your mouth. It is also good for people whose natural teeth may not be strong enough to support a traditional bridge.
The implants are permanent, but the teeth attached to them might need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.
Which Is Best for Your Mouth?
Your dentist will examine your mouth and let you know whether a crown or bridge is the better option or you. Together, you can consider not only the pros and cons of implants and bridges once they’re installed, but you can also talk about things like cost, healing time, and durability.
Both dental bridges and dental implants can get you back the smile you’ve been missing!
About the Author
Dr. Craig Vacek is an experienced dentist in the Lincoln, Nebraska, area who loves to help his patients achieve excellent oral health. If you have questions about implants or bridges, reach out to Vacek Family Dentistry via our website or by phone at 402-466-1914.
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