What is the Best Way to Replace a Missing Tooth?
- Posted on: Aug 15 2017
Until recently, tooth loss was a problem that had one solution. If there were a large extent of tooth loss, a dentist would model a denture for the affected arch, or a set of false teeth for complete restoration. If a single tooth was missing, there were (far too many) instances in which no treatment was performed; a patient would just live with a gap in the mouth. When tooth replacement did take place, it was with a dental bridge. Today, there is also the option of dental implants.
So, which would be the best choice? Here, we take a look at dental implants vs. the dental bridge to help you make the best choice for you.
Dental Implants and Their Benefits
Dental implants are not replacement teeth. They are tiny posts that are inserted into the jawbone to take over for missing roots. When these posts integrate into the jawbone (bone grows around them), an artificial tooth or teeth can be affixed to the portion of the implant that protrudes from the gums.
Benefits of dental implants include:
- No special maintenance is required for lifetime support.
- The outcome not only looks natural but also feels natural.
- The jawbone that houses dental implants benefits by receiving stimulation through these posts. This supports the regeneration of bone tissue.
- Because replacement teeth are supported by implants, there is no strain on adjacent teeth and no reduction of their structure.
Dental Bridges and Their Benefits
A dental bridge is a fixture that is somewhat like a denture. It is modeled to fit over the gums and has a “tooth” portion and a “gums” portion. A bridge stays in place with support from adjacent teeth, which is achieved by slightly reducing those teeth and placing a crown over each. In the bridge, the artificial tooth sits in between the two crowns in the space.
The primary benefit of a dental bridge is that this treatment has a lower up-front cost. Important points of consideration include:
- Dental implant retention is longer than the lifespan of a dental bridge.
- Reducing teeth for retention purposes makes them susceptible to decay should bacteria accumulate around the base of dental crowns. It is important to take excellent care in brushing around a dental bridge.
When you visit our dental practice in McLean, VA for tooth replacement, we discuss the pros and cons of dental implants and bridges so you can make an informed decision regarding your choice of treatment. Call 703-448-1020.