Once you lose a tooth, there is a critical need to replace it. Replacing a missing tooth ensures that your surrounding teeth stay healthy and aligned. It also means that you don’t lose dental function (chewing, speaking, etc). What you may not know is that you have two primary options when it comes to replacing a single tooth: a dental bridge and a dental implant.
In order to make the best choice for particular needs and goals, it is important to first understand what each of these restorative options involve.
A bridge does exactly what its name implies; it “bridges” the gap of the missing tooth. It involves a series of three dental crowns bonded together. The center crown will take the place of your missing tooth and the adjacent crowns will be placed over your existing teeth on each side. Patients must have healthy adjacent teeth to support the bridge.
An implant also uses a dental crown to serve as your replacement tooth. However, an implant doesn’t require multiple crowns. Instead the single restorative crown will be secured on top of an implant, or titanium post, that is surgically placed inside your jaw bone. This acts as an artificial tooth root for the implant, making it strong and durable for everyday dental function.
Here are some factors you’ll want to consider as you get closer to making your decision:
Since dental crowns are used in both bridges and dental implants, they both involve a very natural-looking solution. Crowns are customized in shape, size and color to blend seamlessly within your smile.
When it comes to your lifestyle, there won’t be any major sacrifices necessary for an implant or bridge. They are both easy to maintain, allowing you to brush and floss as you normally would. However, an implant crown ranks superior in stability, and even if the crown comes off or gets damaged, you typically won’t need to replace the implant underneath.
While a dental bridge undoubtedly requires less upfront expense, patients can get more return on their investment with a dental implant. Unlike a bridge, an implant becomes a part of your jaw and can serve as a permanent restoration for your smile. In addition, you are also preserving your jaw bone since the implant stimulates it enough to retain its density. Avoiding jaw bone shrinkage and premature facial aging is an important factor to consider in the cost of an implant. If you have immediate budget restraints that can’t be accommodated by a payment plan, a dental bridge may be best. A bridge won’t require costly preparation and can be finalized in as few as one or two appointments.
How long your dental restoration lasts is largely dependent on how well you care for it. However, even with diligent care, a dental bridge cannot last as long as a bio-compatibly fused dental implant.
Schedule A Consultation
At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we treat patients with a personalized approach. We will carefully consider your needs, goals and budget when helping you choose a replacement tooth solution. Contact us today to book your consult with one of Marietta’s most trusted implant dentists.