Missing teeth can affect your confidence and self-esteem and make speaking or chewing a bit difficult. Although our main focus would be restoring the functionality of your tooth, replacing your missing tooth can also make you feel better. Two popular restorative procedures you can choose from are dental implants and dental bridges. These two procedures address the problem in similar ways but are different in application. There are a number of factors you have to consider when choosing between bridges and implants for your tooth restoration, luckily, Dr. Amy Antzoulatos can recommend the best procedure for your particular situation and bring back your beautiful and healthy smile!
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are semi-permanent tooth replacements used to bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges consist of a crown that is anchored by surrounding teeth.
- The crown fits into the missing tooth space and the surrounding teeth (which could be your natural teeth or implants) hold it in place.
- While the false tooth is called pontics, the surrounding teeth or implants are called abutment teeth.
- Dental bridges are made out of porcelain, ceramic, or plastic and match the color of your natural teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants, on the other hand, replace missing teeth and are used in the case of tooth loss or extraction.
- Dental implants contain a screw-like post, an abutment, and an artificial tooth at the top, which all work together to replace the lost tooth.
- Dental implants cover both the top of the tooth and the roots with the abutment and metal post, screwing the crown into place.
Dental bridges pros and cons
- Bridges do not require invasive surgery and involve a simple procedure.
- Bridges are not anchored in bone, hence the roots of the missing tooth are left intact.
- Bridges are inserted through a relatively fast process.
- Bridges can work for people with certain underlying health conditions.
- Bridges work perfectly in cases of significant bone loss.
- Bridges may require replacements and can last only an average of 7-10 years.
- Bridges can require some maintenance to prevent bacteria buildup, irritation, and gum loss, but we can discuss the proper way to keep your bridges clean and ensure your overall oral health.
Pros and cons of dental implants
- Dental implants preserve bone structure and prevent facial sagging resulting from a missing tooth.
- Dental implants feel and function like your natural teeth.
- Dental implants are a long-lasting solution, with an average lifespan of 10-15 years.
- A titanium implant post can last a lifetime.
- Dental implants do not require additional treatment procedures.
- Although they can be pricey, they provide long-term value that offsets associated costs.
- Healed implants have natural bite strength.
- Dental implants can be considered an invasive dental procedure, but with the care of our dentists, you can rest assured your procedure will be smooth and as painless as possible.
- Healing and recovery can take four to six months, but the result will be well worth it.
- Recovery involves a soft food diet for two weeks or more post-surgery.
Single tooth replacement bridge vs. implant-supported restoration
When you need to replace just one tooth, choosing between bridges and single-tooth implants will involve several considerations.
- For an implant-supported restoration, you will need to attend multiple appointments with our dentist and undergo at least two surgeries. For dental implants, Dr. Amy will make an incision in your gums and place a titanium post into your jawbone before attaching an abutment to the post.
- Dental bridges, on the other hand, require fewer visits to the dentist and involve a non-invasive process. The dentist would file down your surrounding teeth so that the bridge can fit in.
- Keep in mind that implants last longer than bridges and while bridges will require replacements more often, implants are durable.
Whether to choose a bridge or an implant for single tooth replacement will largely depend on the condition of your gums, jawbone, and surrounding teeth. If the roots of the missing tooth are intact, then a bridge might be the right choice for you. If they are not, you may need an implant to provide a strong support to the crown that would be attached.
What’s the difference between bridges and implants?
Bridges and implants are two viable replacement options for missing teeth. While bridges consist of a dental crown and abutment teeth on either side, implants consist of a titanium post, an abutment, and a replacement tooth. Bridges require the support of either the adjacent teeth or implants while implants require the titanium post to be inserted into the jawbone. Implants are a surgical procedure involving multiple appointments and bridges are less invasive.
How to choose between implants and bridges
The extent of bone loss in the jaw of the missing tooth will determine whether you should choose a bridge or an implant. Also, if you want to replace several missing teeth, a bridge might be the right choice for you. When Dr. Amy examines your missing tooth/teeth, she will be able to tell which procedure is the better choice for you.
Looking for bridges or implants in Toronto?
If you are having a tough time deciding between bridges or implants, allow us to give you a hand! Our oral surgeon and the dental team at Annex Dentistry can recommend the right treatment option for your situation as well as provide you with the proper care to ensure that your procedure is as painless and effective as possible. Both implants and bridges require proper care and a dedicated team of dentists to ensure that they are successful. Dr. Amy can help you make the correct decision for your dental care while ensuring that your procedure is safe. We also have several other dental services at your disposal. Book a consultation with us at Annex Dentistry to get started!