The number of people missing at least one tooth in the United States is estimated to be 178 million, which represents more than half the population. Luckily, there are effective ways to restore your ability to chew, talk, and smile with confidence, starting with dental bridges and dental implants.
To help you decide which tooth replacement is best for you, Dr. Mohammed Mansour and the team here at Plano Dental Distinction want to present a few points you should consider when it comes to dental bridges and dental implants.
Bridging the gap
A dental bridge, as the name suggests, is a device that bridges the gap of a missing tooth (or a couple teeth).
The bridge attaches itself to abutment teeth on either side of the gap, which we cover with crowns to anchor the bridge. The bridge features a prosthetic tooth, called a pontic, which is made from ceramic or porcelain. These materials are not only strong enough to allow for chewing, they mimic the natural coloring of your teeth.
When we place a dental bridge, we cement it into place, which allows for excellent stability and ease of care — you simply brush, rinse, and floss as you normally would.
Each year in the US, about three million people receive dental implants. With a dental implant, we replace your missing tooth right down to the roots. To start, we place a titanium post into your jawbone and the bone grows around the post, fusing it into place.
Once it’s secure, we place a crown onto the post that’s custom manufactured to fit in seamlessly with your surrounding teeth.
Differences between dental bridges and dental implants
The primary difference between a bridge and an implant is that a dental implant better mimics your natural tooth in that it’s rooted firmly into your jawbone. With a dental bridge, we only replace your tooth above your gums.
This point is important, because when you lose a tooth and its corresponding roots, you can experience bone loss in the area since your jawbone isn’t registering any activity. This bone loss can progress and might eventually threaten the stability of neighboring teeth.
With a dental implant, we place a new “root” in your jawbone which can prevent further bone deterioration as the implant signals your bone to continue to rebuild.
Another point in favor of dental implants is that we don’t need to alter healthy surrounding teeth. With bridges, we need to create abutment teeth with crowns.
Advantages of a dental bridge over an implant is that there’s no need for surgery. When we place an implant, we do so surgically, and there are times when we also need to perform a bone graft to support the implant.
On top of being less invasive, dental bridges are often more economical than dental implants.
When it comes to longevity, dental implants typically last 15 years or more while dental bridges tend to wear down sooner. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make, but we’re here to help you make the right one for your needs. To learn more, contact our office in Plano, Texas, today to schedule a consultation