Tooth implant or bridge, which is better? If you’re missing a tooth these are two popular restorative issues. But which should you choose? This article discusses the pros and cons of both, to help you make an informed decision.
Missing a tooth may not seem like a big deal, and indeed, around 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. However, you should know that missing a tooth is much more than a cosmetic problem.
Losing a tooth, especially one that's front and center, can impact your daily life and confidence. Simple things like eating become a hassle, and you might find yourself holding back on smiling or socializing.
Apart from the obvious esthetic and psychological impact, leaving a gap can lead to other issues. Nearby teeth might start moving into the space, or those on the opposite jaw might grow into it, messing up your bite and causing more problems. Plus, over time, missing teeth can result in bone loss and give your face a sunken appearance.
Now that you've decided to replace the tooth, the big question is: Tooth implant or bridge, which is better?
Some people aren't too keen on the idea of a removable partial denture and prefer a fixed solution like a bridge or a dental implant. Let’s give you more information about both treatments to help you choose for yourself.
As the name suggests, a dental bridge spans the gap in your smile created by one or more missing teeth.
A traditional bridge consists of two crowns flanking the gap, referred to as the 'abutment teeth,' with a false tooth positioned in the gap known as a 'pontic.' This method is typically favored due to its superior strength compared to alternative options and is commonly employed as a long-term solution for addressing missing teeth.
The bridge, which may be fabricated from ceramic, porcelain, zirconia or metal remains fixed in the mouth, so, unlike a denture, there’s no need to remove it.
A traditional bridge has several benefits, namely:
So those are the benefits of a dental bridge, but you also need to know the downsides, which include the following:
Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of dental implants.
Dental implants consist of titanium roots and porcelain crowns, offering a substitute for missing teeth. The biocompatible nature of titanium facilitates bonding with the upper or lower jaw bone, acting as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth. Extensive research spanning decades attests that dental implants stand as the most enduring, aesthetically natural, and functionally superior alternative to natural teeth. The prime advantage of a tooth implant vs a dental bridge is that it is a standalone treatment that doesn’t rely on other teeth for support.
While this article provides a thorough list of pros and cons for both tooth implant and bridge options, comparing them without professional guidance can be challenging due to the unique nature of each patient's case.
The initial step involves consulting with a prosthodontist or implant dentist. They will assess your circumstances, utilizing 3D imaging to evaluate available bone and determine the most suitable option for your needs. A personalized treatment plan will be crafted, outlining costs and procedures upfront. Subsequently, you can liaise with your health insurance about coverage. The restoration of your ability to laugh, eat, and smile with confidence can be a transformative experience.
To schedule a free implant consultation with our experienced dentist, please contact Chesterfield Dentistry at 314-936-3621 or use our online booking system.