When it comes to replacing missing teeth, a single tooth implant and dental bridge are two popular options that offer effective and aesthetically pleasing results. While both are effective treatments, only one is right for you. We’ll cover the key differences between the two, discuss the pros and cons, and show you how DICE Dental can help you decide what’s best for your smile.
Understanding Dental Implants
Dental implants are titanium posts surgically screwed into the jawbone, mimicking the root structure of a natural tooth. This foundation allows for the attachment of a custom-made dental crown. Some patients may opt for a full-mouth replacement using dental implants, while other patients may only need a single tooth implant to get them out of pain and restore their smile. Implants have an incredible lifespan ranging from 10-30 years, depending on your own oral care habits. In most cases, the crown portion of a dental implant is all that needs to be replaced.
Dental implants aren’t only aesthetically pleasing. They also greatly improve the health of your jaw and surrounding teeth. Missing teeth often cause your jaw to shrink which can affect your speech and ability to eat. A mouth with a missing tooth may experience jaw shrinkage by about 25%. However, a single tooth implant can prevent these issues by helping stimulate bone growth within the jaw. Because the titanium post is placed into the jawbone, it acts as a root and provides natural stimulation for healthy jawbone growth.
One important factor to note is that not all patients are eligible to receive implant surgery right away. Some patients may need supplemental treatments to ensure their mouth can handle an implant. For example, a bone graft may be needed if a patient’s jawbone doesn’t have enough volume to support an implant. This procedure helps ensure a successful treatment.
Discovering Dental Bridges
Dental bridges consist of artificial teeth anchored to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. They “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges rely on the support of adjacent healthy teeth for stability. These supporting teeth need to be prepared and reshaped to accommodate the bridge.
Compared to dental implants, bridges generally have a lower upfront cost. This can be an appealing factor for individuals seeking a more affordable option. Dental bridges also require less time for completion. While dental implants involve a multi-step process that may take several months to fully complete, bridges can often be placed within a few weeks.
Compared to a single tooth implant, it is important to know that dental bridges do not stimulate jawbone growth or correct bone loss. In addition, a dental bridge requires adjacent healthy teeth to attach to.
Make the Smile of Your Dreams a Reality
At DICE Dental, we can help you decide which treatment is best for you. Request a consultation with our expert team of dentists to discover how we can help turn the fuller, healthier, happier smile of your dreams into a reality. Book an appointment with us today.