Coping with tooth loss can really affect your self confidence, especially if you are missing teeth in the front of your mouth. You are also faced with a very important decision to make regarding the replacement of your missing tooth: tooth implant vs bridge. While both options are recommended by dentists, the best choice for you will depend largely on your dental health. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of a tooth implant vs bridge.
The Pros And Cons Of Dental Implants
The Pros Of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a permanent way to replace missing teeth at the root. While a tooth implant only replaces a missing tooth above the gum line, a dental implant can reduce your chance of bone loss under the gum by providing stimulation at the tooth roots.
Dental implants are also long lasting. With good dental care they can be expected to last for 20 to 25 years. This is because they fuse to the jaw bone and biome osseo-integrated with it. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or an entire arch.
A dental implant is the closest replacement you can get for a natural tooth. This means you will be able to eat any kind of food without restriction or concern about the implant not being able to withstand biting or chewing force.
The Cons Of Dental Implants
When it comes to disadvantages, not everyone is a suitable candidate for a dental implant. If you have gum disease or a chronic condition that interferes with your body’s ability to heal itself, your dentist is likely to recommend other tooth replacements. If you are a smoker, your dentist will probably advise against a dental implant because your chances of implant failure are statistically much higher among smokers.
Dental implants are completed by surgical procedures, and these carry some degree of risk by nature.
Dental implants cannot be completed overnight. In order to finish your treatment plan and have a dental implant embedded, you will need an engagement of several months with your dental practitioner and you will wear a temporary crown while this happens.
You will need to have several surgeries done, with each requiring a healing and recovery period to be complete before you can move on to the next. Some patients may not want to wait for this long and may require a faster tooth replacement solution.
The Pros And Cons Of A Dental Bridge
The Pros Of A Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is an effective way to replace a missing tooth if the adjacent teeth are healthy and strong. A dental bridge will also serve you well if you need your tooth replacement done in a hurry, as they can be completed really quickly. When it comes to affordability, dental bridges are cheaper than dental implants.
In terms of a dental bridge vs implants, the bridge provides more of an aesthetic tooth replacement and can stop the other teeth in your mouth from moving around and trying to close the gap opened up by the missing tooth. While it does replace the tooth above the gum line, it cannot prevent bone loss below it.
The Cons Of A Bridge
In terms of functionality, a dental bridge vs implant, it does not look, feel and function like the natural teeth in your mouth. In order to accommodate your dental bridge, your dental practitioner will need to file down some of the enamel of your adjacent teeth, so that they can support the false tooth in the middle. This compromises healthy teeth and can weaken them.
A dental bridge also requires specialised attention and cleaning to ensure that you do not have plaque build up on the surface of your gum below the false tooth. You may need to use special floss to clean in that space.
Dental bridges also need to be replaced fairly regularly, and you might need a new one in as little as seven years. While their initial cost is cheaper than dental implants, if you combine the accumulated costs of several bridges over the years, it may not be as competitive.
Tooth Implant Vs Bridge: What’s Best For You?
Ultimately your dentist will discuss your treatment options with you, specific to your particular needs and goals. If you are missing multiple teeth you may even discuss the possibility of a combined treatment using both implants and dental bridges.
Still have questions about the pros and cons of a tooth implant vs bridge? It’s always best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8203 8760.