When you’re missing teeth, the path you choose for replacing them is important. Fixed bridges have long been the go-to for teeth replacement, but modern dentistry has made replacing teeth with dental implants a popular option. If you have one or more missing teeth, consider the following when deciding between a dental implant and a fixed bridge:
- Placement – Both a dental implant and a fixed bridge will help replace teeth that were lost, which is good news for your oral function. A bridge is a fake tooth supported by two dental crowns; getting a crown means that teeth need to buffed down so that the crown/cap can be placed. Therefore, getting a bridge requires that the healthy teeth surrounding the site of a lost tooth are modified to accept the bridge. While this does not necessarily mean that your oral health with be negatively affected, a dental implant requires no alteration to healthy teeth in order to be placed.
- Longevity – Dental implants and fixed bridges both use crowns; for the implant, the crown is placed on top of titanium post; for the fixed bridge, your replacement tooth is sandwiched between two dental crowns. A crown can occasionally need restoration due to normal wear and tear; if you wear down the crowns on a bridge, the entire device will have to be removed so that it can be modified. Because the dental implant is rooted by a surgically-placed post, restoring the crown involves removing it from the post and popping it back on when restored. Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. A fixed bridge typically lasts between 10-20 years.
- Flexibility – Fixed bridges can address issues of one or a few missing teeth, as dental implant can. For total tooth loss on one or both arches, dental implants can used to secure a set of full dentures in order to make them completely stable and restore bite function. Because fixed bridges use dental crowns to hold the pontic (or replacement tooth), they require that at least one tooth be present surrounding the site of a lost tooth.
- Cost-Effectiveness – While dental implants typically cost more than a traditional bridge, there are many factors to take into consideration – including the overall state of your oral health, as well as how many teeth need to be replaced. If you are experiencing dental issues that require pre-treatment before your teeth can be replaced, this will factor into overall cost. Dental implants do last longer than fixed bridges, with proper care, and can be considered a wise investment for improved, big-picture oral health.
If you are missing teeth and have questions about how you can replace them, our office is happy to help. Contact Twelve Bridges Dental for more information about getting dental implants, or other treatments for tooth replacement, in Roseville, CA.