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Is it Better to Get a Dental Implant or a Bridge?

dental-implants-or-dental-bridgesIf you’ve lost a tooth or several of them and are investigating your options for repairing your smile, you’ve likely been offered both dental bridges and dental implants. In Edmond, these are the two most frequently recommended choices.

Which is the better option? Either can offer a better looking smile or restore chewing ability, but since dental implants more closely resemble the structure of natural teeth, they hold a number of distinct advantages over dental bridges.

Support Structures

Dental bridges depend upon the teeth adjacent them for support. Typically, they are anchored at each end by a crown, which is affixed to natural teeth on each side of the gap that is to be bridged. To crown those natural teeth, your dentist will have to reshape them, a process that generally involves altering perfectly healthy teeth. This can make them more prone to decay, which can eventually cost the bridge its support and the patient another tooth or two.

Dental implant restorations require no support from other teeth, since they have a structure that mimics that of natural teeth. The titanium implant, placed in the jaw and fused with the bone, serves as an artificial tooth root, anchoring a prosthetic tooth or teeth.

Oral Health

Since pressure on tooth roots during chewing stimulates bone maintenance and repair, bone loss is a given in areas of the jawbone that have had them removed. A bridge, anchored to surrounding teeth and resting on the gum line, does not offer that vital stimulation to the jawbone, allowing bone atrophy.

Since dental implants replace the tooth roots, they stimulate the jawbone as you chew. That stimulation prompts the bone remodeling process, ensuring that new bone cells are created in the area to prevent atrophy, protecting bone health and density.

Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges: Longevity

Dental bridges are not a permanent solution to tooth loss. The average bridge will need replacement after seven to ten years. Dental implants last much longer, with an average longevity of 25 years to life. For many patients who get dental implants in Edmond, they will last a lifetime.

Dental Implants or Dental Bridges: Costs

While a dental bridge will cost less initially than dental reconstruction with dental implants in Edmond, lifetime costs are another matter entirely. Over the long-run, patients are quite likely to end up investing more money, not to mention time and hassle, in a dental bridge, since they will need replacement at regular intervals. Additionally, damage to adjacent teeth is fairly common with bridge failure, leading to further costs in terms of dental work to repair that damage.

Dental implants in Edmond, for the vast majority of patients, are the most sensible choice for the replacement of missing teeth, offering marked advantages over dental bridges in terms of oral health, lifetime costs, comfort and convenience. They offer the look and feel of natural teeth and are as easy to care for, with just normal brushing, flossing and routine dental examination and cleaning necessary to keep them in great shape.

Photo Credit: Dan DeLuca