The Clear Choice for Missing Teeth: Dental Implants or Bridges?

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dental implants vs dental bridges

The loss of teeth happens frequently. According to Stats Canada, accounts of decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth increased at every age, from 2 (aged 6-11 years) to 9.5 (for adolescents), to 15 (aged 20-39 years) and over 19 (for older adults). And a complete loss of natural teeth is found mainly in adults 50 and older.

To maintain your other teeth in alignment after a tooth loss, it’s critical to acquire a suitable replacement. Keeping your face structure consistent, not having to avoid eating, and not dealing with speech issues are potential benefits of getting a replacement for your lost tooth/teeth. Dental bridges and implants are two of the most widely used oral tooth replacement choices.

In this blog, we will discuss the two options so that you can choose which one is best for you. 

Dental Implant vs. Bridge

Both dental implants and bridges have advantages and disadvantages, but they both have the potential to produce outcomes that look natural. Here is a comparison of the two tooth replacement choices.

Placement:

A fixed bridge and dental implants can help replace missing teeth, which is great for oral health. A bridge is a false tooth supported by two dental crowns; the neighbouring teeth must be filed down to place a crown. A bridge requires physical alterations to healthy teeth to provide room for the crown. For this reason, contemporary dentistry advises most people to consider implant-supported dental bridges.

Dental implants are titanium screws surgically inserted into the jaw, fusing with the bone to serve as artificial tooth roots. The dental implants seamlessly integrate with the patient’s natural structure because the body does not detect titanium as a foreign substance, giving the dental bridge unequaled stability. Implant-supported bridges are merely crowns fastened to titanium screws. Thus, they guard against the surrounding teeth losing some of their dental structure.

Flexibility

A dentist will require healthy adjacent teeth for support in the case of a bridge. Fixed bridges must therefore have at least one tooth in the region where a tooth was lost. Consequently, it is advantageous to use implants to replace a number of missing natural teeth. Dental implants can be used in a variety of ways, as the example above demonstrates.

Longevity

Bridgework has a shorter expected lifespan than implants. They have more potential problems because they are typically not fastened in place. In addition, tooth decay can ruin a tooth that supports a bridge, whereas an implant is resistant to decay. Gum disease has the potential to harm both, so good oral hygiene is a must.

Cost-Effectiveness

Dental implants often cost more to get started than a bridge. However, dental implants might be considered an intelligent investment for long-term oral health because they outlast fixed bridges.

Cleaning and Maintenance

If you are considering getting implants, you should remember that they are also easier to maintain than natural teeth. It is possible to floss between implants, and the cleaning procedure is relatively straightforward.

Procedure

The process for getting a bridge is straightforward and doesn’t require surgery, in contrast to dental implants.

A dental bridge is advised if there has been considerable harm or jaw bone loss. In such cases, the procedure will be easier, less uncomfortable, and less expensive. It is vital to understand that the placement of dental implants necessitates healthy bones or, in cases where insufficient bone exists, a bone grafting surgery.

Retain Jawbone Structure

Even if a bridge is put in place, the bone used to support a tooth decreases after it is pulled or lost. As a result, the shape of the face may noticeably shift if there are numerous missing teeth. A person may appear older as a result. Therefore, the ability of implants to preserve bone structure is a significant advantage. 

The bone will be salvaged once the metal has settled. A bone graft may be required at first. As a result, the jaw will continue to have a fuller, more natural form. A dental bridge has no advantages in terms of bone preservation.

implant or bridge dental treatment

How They Work

A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root secured in place of a lost tooth and is often made of titanium. First, the implant is given a temporary protective cover screw while it integrates with the jawbone (a process called osseointegration).This process results in a very secure and durable prosthetic, although it can take up to six months to complete. After successful osseointegration, the protective covering is replaced with a temporary crown. This serves as a template around which the gum develops and assumes its final shape. When the temporary crown is replaced with a permanent one, the treatment is over.

A dental bridge is more intrusive than a dental implant in certain respects and less invasive in others. For example, bridges do not replace the tooth root, in contrast to implants. Instead, a bridge uses one or more nearby teeth as a base on which a crown that can replace the gap left by a missing tooth is attached. 

Even while the procedure is more invasive in some ways—requiring the permanent modification of neighbouring teeth to support the bridge—it is not nearly as time-consuming as the implant process (which also involves osseointegration). As the name suggests, a dental bridge spans the space left by a lost tooth. Therefore, one or more nearby teeth must be filed down to serve as an anchor for the restoration before they can be attached to them.

tooth bridge and implant surgery

The Bottomline

Dental implants may be the superior choice if money is not a concern and you are in good general health because they stay longer and don’t harm the teeth around them. Your best course of action can be determined with the assistance of a dentist.

Given the variety of tooth replacement alternatives available today, it is crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option before making a decision. 

Our dentists at Westgate Dental Centre provide several options to replace missing teeth and restore your natural smile. You can determine which is the best option for you with an initial consultation with us.

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