You’ll naturally want to replace your lost tooth as soon as you can, but what’s the best way to do it? Over the years, dentists have developed multiple solutions for missing teeth, and it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each before making a decision. In cases where only a single tooth is gone, your choices will come down to a dental bridge or a single dental implant; read on to learn about the differences between these restorations so that you can start thinking about which one is the best fit for your smile.
What are the Advantages of a Dental Bridge?
Dental bridges are made of two or more specially fitted crowns that hold false teeth between them. After the crowns have been attached to your natural teeth, the bridge can be used to speak clearly and safely chew your favorite foods. There are several benefits to using bridges:
- They look and feel very much like natural teeth and can be made out of reliably strong tooth-colored materials.
- They can last for a long time – about 5 to 15 years – with good maintenance.
- They will prevent your other teeth from drifting into the gap.
What are the Advantages of a Dental Implant?
An implant in dentistry refers to a thin titanium post that is inserted into the jaw. It’s effectively a replacement tooth root, and it can be used to fill in gaps of any size depending on how many posts are used and what kind of restoration is required. If you’ve lost a single tooth, you can get an implant-retained crown and enjoy the following advantages:
- The stimulation of the implant will promote a healthy jawbone.
- A stable implant will prevent the attached restoration from slipping.
- Implants can last for a lifetime if you maintain excellent oral hygiene.
Which is Right for You?
You need to think about the pros and cons of both bridges and implants before choosing one over the others. While many dentists will recommend implants, they do come with a very significant downside: it normally takes months to complete the process of placing and restoring them, meaning there will be a significant amount of time where you must go without teeth. A dental bridge, on the other hand, can be placed in as little as two visits, and you can receive the final restoration in a matter of weeks. Also, if the teeth next to the gap were damaged by trauma or decay, a dental implant can help protect them.
If you have any doubts about which method of tooth replacement you should pick, talk to your dentist. They’ll help you review the various factors involved before guiding you towards a decision that will allow you to live life to the fullest and greet the world with a confident, fully intact smile.
About the Author
Dr. Letitia Plummer is your skilled Pearland dentist at Maxwello Dental & Orthodontics. She has been interested in dentistry ever since she was a child who spent plenty of time in her dad’s practice. She has been extensively trained in a variety of dental fields and is an expert in replacing teeth with bridges and implants. To schedule a consultation about your missing teeth, get in touch with Dr. Plummer through her website or by calling (713) 436-2522.