Dental Bridges Vs. Dental Implants for Tooth Replacement
What are dental implants
The simplest explanation of what a dental implant is, a special type of metal ‘post’ that is put in your bone and this creates a support to which a tooth is put on top.
DENTAL IMPLANT PROCEDURE
The process begins with reviewing your medical history since some medical conditions may hamper the implant process like diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases which interfere with the healing process.
The mouth is then examined for any conditions for instance gum disease, tooth decay because an implant cannot be placed in an unhealthy mouth, any existing condition is first treated before proceeding.
The bone is then examined for health, size and thickness, the bone forms the foundation for the implant and so it has to be sound, this is done with the help of x-ray imaging. If the bone is inadequate, more bone can be added and the area is left to heal and become one with the rest of the bone. This process usually goes for about 6 months.
Now having made sure that the person is healthy, the mouth is healthy and the bone is adequate, the implant (post) is now placed in the bone, this is a minor surgical procedure that is done on the dental chair and takes between 1-2 hours and then you are discharged to go heal for about 3-4 months, this gives adequate time for the implant to join well with the bone.
After this is achieved, now the dental crown. A quick explanation of a dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. This is placed on it by either screwing it or using a special adhesive that connects them and voila! The missing tooth is replaced and you have your full smile.
What are dental bridges?
If you are missing one or more teeth, a dental bridge can fill the space with one or greater artificial toothlike structure. A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis used to replace one or several missing teeth by permanently joining an artificial tooth to adjacent teeth or dental implants.
Who is a dental bridge for?
Dental bridges can be a tooth replacement option when you are missing one or more teeth as a result of tooth decay, gum ailment and injury.
You could have been born lacking a tooth because of a congenital condition.
What does a dental bridge look like?
A normal dental bridge has:
Abutment tooth: These anchoring teeth, or helping enamel, may be your natural enamel or dental implants that are prepared to hold the missing tooth replacement in the desired position.
Pontics: The tooth-like structure that fills the gap created by the missing teeth and attaches to the crowns which will be cemented to the abutment (discussed earlier).
What occurs all through the process for a conventional dental bridge? You’ll normally expect a couple of appointments:
Abutment enamel preparation: During your first visit, we will reshape the abutment enamel. We do this by taking away a part of the enamel and dentin, so there’s room for the crown.
Impressions: we then take impressions (negative replica of your mouth as measurements of your mouth and teeth)
A dental laboratory makes a temporary bridge. You’ll have a brief bridge to shield the uncovered regions of your tooth as the lab makes your bridge.
Permanent bridge placement: During your second visit, we will remove the temporary bridge and put in the permanent bridge.
Let’s explore the strengths and weaknesses of dental bridges vs. implants.
Dental Bridge Pros
Here are some advantages of dental bridges.
Density: density of the jawbone is not considered incase you need a dental bridge.
Nonsurgical: You won’t require surgery.
Price: It’s less costly.
Less invasive: You can easily replace a tooth that has been missing for a while.
Dental Bridge Cons
Here are some of the downsides of dental bridges.
Jawbone deterioration: They don’t replace the root of your tooth, thereby causing the jawbone to degenerate more quickly.
Affects neighboring teeth: Placement of the bridge also requires removal of significant parts of the teeth neighboring the missing tooth or teeth.
Short lifespan: A bridge usually only lasts eight to 15 years before you will need to get it replaced.
Dental Implant Pros
Here are some advantages of dental implants.
Easy to take care of: They require little maintenance.
Long-lasting: When they’re high-quality, they can last a lifetime.
Keep your smile confident: Dental implants are stable and secure. They feel, look and function like a natural tooth.
Prevent bone loss: Not only do implants protect your jawbone, but they preserve and stimulate natural bone growth.
Help protect surrounding teeth: They can stand on their own without having to put a strain on your other teeth.
Dental Implant Cons
Some of the downsides of dental implants are as follows.
Surgery: Your dentist will have to surgically attach the implant to the bone. There are always risks involved with any surgical procedure, including nerve damage, infection, jaw fractures, damage to surrounding teeth and more.
Time: You can’t get a dental implant in one office visit. Your bone takes time to heal, which means an entire implant procedure can take a few months.
Cost: The cost varies depending on the condition of your tooth and the type of implant you receive. Even so, the higher price tag of an implant is often what holds people back from considering this procedure.