Losing a tooth does more than just leave a gap in your smile. If left untreated, tooth loss can lead to bone loss and eventually, a decrease in gum tissue. Not only does this affect your appearance, but it can also impair your chewing and speaking abilities over time.
Dentists have several tools available to restore your smile while preserving the bone to keep your mouth healthy. Bridges and implants are two popular options with differing pros and cons. Continue reading to learn more about what bridges and implants do and the advantages of each to help you determine which option might be right for you.
How Bridges and Implants Work
A bridge is a type of dental prosthesis that your dentist fixes into place by attaching it to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Those teeth provide support to the bridge. Your dentist has to prepare the teeth by removing the layer of enamel and placing crowns over the teeth.
Implants replace only the tooth or teeth that are missing. Your dentist fuses the implant to the jawbone and attaches a crown to give you a new stand-alone tooth that looks and functions just like the missing tooth.
Advantages of Bridges
To qualify for an implant, you need to have healthy teeth and gums and enough bone density to support the implant. If your dentist doesn’t feel that you meet the requirements, a bridge may be a better option for you. Other advantages of a dental bridge include:
- Less expensive upfront costs compared to implants
- Faster results
- Reliable, predictable finish that looks natural
Advantages of Implants
On the other hand, if you’re a candidate for an implant, you can also bank on reliable, aesthetic results from that too. Benefits of choosing dental implants include the following points:
- The implant won’t decay and can be more durable than a bridge
- Your adjacent teeth aren’t affected
- Less likely to have to be replaced down the road, because they don’t decay
Disadvantages of Bridges and Implants
Both dental solutions offer their own benefits. They also each have unique disadvantages that should be considered before you decide whether to go with one or the other.
Disadvantages of Bridges
- May need to be replaced in the future
- Adjacent teeth must be prepared by removing enamel and redoing crowns
- Tooth decay is a possible problem
Disadvantages of Implants
- More expensive upfront costs
- The planning process takes longer
- Your mouth must heal before permanent tooth replacement
- Minor surgical procedure
Now that you know more about the difference between the two types of dental solutions, talk to your dentist to determine which one will be the best fit for you. At Klement Family Dental, we provide a full menu of services ranging from standard cleanings to implants, bridges and cosmetic work. Call us at 727-498-1959 727-498-1959 to make an appointment.