Dental Implant vs Dental Bridge
Replacing missing teeth is important, often crucial, for all patients. You may be able to make do with a missing tooth or two, but you are not living life to the fullest. With dental replacement options a common and routine procedure these days, there is no reason to delay the inevitable and prolong your situation. Patients with missing teeth often suffer from depression, low self esteem, poor dental health, and a badly managed diet. To replace missing teeth you may consider a dental implant, or a dental bridge. The best option for you will depend on your situation, but we can learn more about each to help you make an informed decision with your dental care team.
Dental Bridges are one or a series of replacement teeth which are situated between two areas of otherwise healthy tooth material. The bridge can be constructed of crowns, implants, or a maryland bridge; a bridge where metallic sort of “wings” attach to the back of other healthy teeth. A bridge is a great option if, for whatever reason, several teeth in one area are missing. It could be from infection, disease or trauma. Dental bridges have varied materials and durability, just like implants.
Dental Implants are replacement teeth which are inserted directly into the jaw, the same as original teeth. The difference is, original teeth are secured through roots-areas of tissue and bone which secure the appendage. Dental Implants are secured through a metal dental post, an anchor directly into the jaw. Dental Implant involve at least two procedures, and a dedicated recovery time to heal. The anchor in the jaw must complete its’ connection to the tissues, gum, and bone for support. This process is know as osseointegration, and no one knows exactly how long it will take your body to accept it. The average is sometime between weeks and months. The good new is, once the anchor is integrated, your anchor is almost permanent with regular care and maintenance.
Which option is right for your replacement?
This is a conversation to have with your dentist. The best answer is; both. You can use an implant support to connect a bridge to a single healthy tooth if necessary. Say all the teeth on the right side of your bottom row are gone. You can use an implant to create a secure molar, stronger than your original tooth. You can then use that implant to anchor multiple teeth to another healthy tooth in a row. An implant supported bridge! Lots of different possibilities are available, dental replacement is a vast and accessible science.
The first step
Make an appointment and see a dentist. The only person who can advise you on the best way to replace your missing teeth is your dental care professional. They can take x-rays and comprehensive scans to understand the whole story of your dental health. Make sure to communicate any recent infections or diagnosis of autoimmune disease with your dentist, to anticipate delays in recovery. With the right plan of action, you could have a new bridge or dental implant in as little as a month.