A full set of teeth is key for a confident, healthy smile. When you lose a tooth for any reason, a prompt replacement can make all the difference. In the past, the only choice to fill those gaps was a dental bridge, but thanks to advancements in dentistry, dental implants are also a potentially effective solution. Which one is best for you? Whether you’re missing one tooth or multiple teeth, it’s important to be familiar with the various replacement options and to know which will work better for your unique situation.
What Are Dental Bridges?
A bridge can be used to cover the gap left by one or more missing teeth. The pontics, or prosthetic teeth, fill in the empty space and are supported by crowns placed on adjacent teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
An implant is a titanium post that’s surgically inserted into the gums and topped with a crown. The post serves as the root of the replacement tooth, providing firmer support.
How Do Dental Bridges Compare with Dental Implants?
In many cases, implants will be recommended over bridges. Not only do implants tend to have a longer lifespan (potentially a lifetime compared with an average of 10 years for dental bridges), but they also provide better chewing power. Additionally, dental bridges are more prone to damage while implants are comparatively durable. Finally, implants can help prevent bone loss by providing the jaw with the stimulation usually provided by the natural tooth; a traditional dental bridge does not have this benefit.
On the other hand, in some cases there may have already been too much bone loss in the jaw for the implant to be properly set, which is when a dental bridge may be the best option. Also, the overall process for placing bridges tends to be shorter than that of implants; they’re also initially less costly, although you have to account for the fact that they’ll need to be replaced more often.
As far as aesthetics go, implants tend to be more natural-looking than bridges and can be customized to match the look of your mouth, so keep that in mind if replacement is needed in a particularly visible area.
At the end of the day, however, your dentist will be able to examine your situation and recommend the best treatment for the circumstances. Make sure that you ask about multiple options for tooth replacement and understand why a recommendation is being made. Pick the option that’s best for your smile!
About the Practice
At Mt. Holly Family Dentistry, Drs. Bill Greenberg, Adam Cygler, and Janice Choi are committed to finding up-to-date dentistry technologies and techniques to provide the most effective treatment for patients. Dental implants and bridges are available for patients with missing teeth. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (609) 267-3230.