Most of us feel that having an attractive smile is important to our success. So if you're missing a tooth, you may also feel like you're missing out on opportunities. Whether you want better oral function or you feel you'd benefit from an aesthetic improvement, you have a couple of options to choose from when it comes to teeth replacement. In most cases, you'll probably be considering getting either dental implants or a dental bridge. It's important that you understand the differences between these procedures, as well as their pros and cons, before you make your decision with your local dentist.
If you need teeth replacement due to periodontal disease or injury, dental implants may be a good choice. The implant is comprised of a titanium post (which acts as a stand-in for the tooth root) and a crown. The post is surgically implanted into the jawbone, which means that it's a permanent solution.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
- They require very little maintenance: High-quality implants can last a lifetime and have a success rate of 98%.
- They have a natural appearance: They look and feel exactly like a real tooth, which means you won't have to change your routine.
- They protect your tooth and jaw: Implants won't put strain on your other teeth and can keep your jaw from deteriorating.
The Drawbacks of Dental Implants
- Surgery is required: The procedure is more invasive, which means there are risks involved and that your body will need time to recover.
- Cost may be a concern: While the cost of dental implants can vary, it's undoubtedly more expensive than non-surgical options.
Like the name suggests, a dental bridge "bridges" the gap between missing teeth. It's made up of false teeth (or crowns) which are anchored by real teeth on either side. It covers the gap, but unlike implants, the crowns aren't implanted into the jaw.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
- They're easier and less painful: Because bridges don't require surgery, patients can have their teeth fixed right away and don't have to go through the healing process.
- They're less expensive: For patients who are worried about the financial implications of teeth replacement, bridges are often a more affordable option.
The Drawbacks of Dental Bridges
- They aren't as attractive: Simply put, bridges don't look as natural as implants do and are less aesthetically pleasing overall.
- They won't last forever: Bridges typically need to be replaced every five to seven years, which means costs can add up over time.
- They can damage your other teeth: Bridges can put a strain on adjacent teeth and the procedure itself requires that structural changes be made to the teeth that anchor the bridge.
Ultimately, the decision pertaining to implants or bridges is up to the patient. In some cases, a bridge simply may be more feasible or appropriate due to health or financial concerns. Others find that implants will make the most sense for their situation. If you have further questions or want to schedule a personal consultation, contact Pearl Dental Group, the experts on dental implants La Verne residents trust.