To replace a missing tooth, a dentist will suggest that a patient use a dental bridge or an implant. Each option has its own advantages, so as the patient, it is important to understand the difference between the two to make an informed decision. Comparing each option can help you to better decide which treatment to use for your dental needs.
Bridges and Implants
A dental bridge and an implant will be created in a different way. A bridge uses a false tooth that is suspended between two crowns. With the installation, the dentist will use cement on the natural teeth beside the missing section to adhere to the false tooth. With an implant, a false tooth is placed on a post created from titanium that has been inserted into the jaw bone.
In both cases, the false teeth are made to match your existing teeth so the coloring blends in nicely. Despite the look, a bridge may be more noticeable based on how it is constructed since the tooth is not placed in the gums.
Location is Important
When considered a bridge or implant treatment, it is essential that the location of the missing tooth be considered. If a tooth is missing from the back of the mouth, a bridge could be used as the false tooth would not be as noticeable. If you used a bridge at the front of the mouth, the technique will be more noticeable. For a more natural smile, a front tooth should be replaced by an implant.
Benefits of Implants
With implants, the patient has several benefits. For starters, the jaw bone will not deteriorate. When teeth are extracted or fall out on their own, the jaw bone begins to shrink. This changes the way you look, including how your smile appears. With an implant, the tooth is embedded into the jaw bone via a post. The new tooth will chew and bite as natural teeth do, helping to stop any shrinking from occurring. With a false tooth in a dental bridge, the tooth is not physically connected to the jaw bone, so shrinkage can occur.
Because you are replacing teeth with an implant or a dental bridge, there will be maintenance needs. Both are to be cared for in a similar way. You will need to brush the false teeth just as you would your own, two times a day. This helps to keep the teeth from staining. Your dentist will be able to help you understand the maintenance needs of your implant or dental bridge, helping to ensure the longevity of the change.
Time Frame for Treatment
It is also important to consider the time frame for treatment. With a bridge, you will have a new tooth in two visits that could take a couple of weeks. With an implant, the process is more drawn out. You will need to have the titanium post installed and then the implant will need to adhere to the jaw bone, which can take three to six months.
At Royce Family Dentistry, we offer both implants and dental bridges. Let our team of professionals review your dental needs and help you find the right solution. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment at 704-540-5440.