When we talk about restorations for your teeth, we mean a lot of different things. For example, a filling for a cavity is considered a restoration, as is a crown for a tooth that is broken or cracked. Today we would like to talk about the difference between bridges and implants so that should you lose an adult tooth, you’ll know where to begin!
Many people get confused by this conversation. After all, does it really matter which restoration you choose? The answer is YES! It matters greatly. Let’s take a look in more specific detail so you have a better idea of what to expect should you ever have to make this decision yourself.
Replacing a Missing Tooth is Important
First of all, we hope you realize that replacing a tooth is extremely important. A missing tooth will impact your chewing ability, your confidence when you smile, as well as the way you speak. You will be surprised at the important role each of your teeth places when you are trying to pronounce words and sounds!
So how do you ever begin the conversation of which restoration is best? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of bridges and implants below.
Choosing a Bridge
If you are like most, your first inclination will be to choose a dental bridge. There are some benefits to this, but there are also cons that you might not be aware of.
At first glance, a bridge seems like the obvious choice because it is less expensive. This is great for patients who are in a financial bind or those who don’t have dental insurance and cannot qualify for our financing options. A bridge is stable and will be made to fit your natural teeth.
A bridge is also not permanent. It might last 15-20 years at most, which seems like a long time, but it will need to be replaced after that time and many bridges need to be repaired before the bridge has lost its function.
The most concerning thing we find about a bridge is that the bridge relies on your healthy, natural teeth for support, which puts your teeth at risk. A bridge is made up of two crowns on either side of the false tooth. Those crowns must fit on your healthy teeth, which makes them 30% more likely to develop damage of their own.
Choosing an Implant
An implant will not be your first choice because you will see the price compared to a bridge, and you will want to turn away. We understand that response, but you should realize that when you invest in an implant, you are investing in a smile solution for the rest of your life.
A dental implant is the only permanent restoration on the market. Once we place the implant, it will not come out for the remainder of your days because it will be fused to your jawbone. The implant itself doesn’t need your healthy teeth for support, which means that your entire smile will benefit.
On top of that, an implant looks just like your natural teeth, so no one will ever know you’ve had work done. There are no unqiue requirements for care, and the restoration itself will feel like it has always been a part of your smile.
The greatest con for an implant is that price tag. It is more expensive than other restorations, which makes it daunting. Some patients are also afraid of the procedure to place the implant. Oral surgery seems like a scary thing, even though sedation will keep you comfortable throughout the entire process.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you need to choose a restoration that will replace your missing tooth. Whether that is a bridge or an implant, your smile needs to have the space filled. If you are torn between the two options, give us a call! We would be happy to help you determine which restoration would be better for your smile.