What’s the difference between an implant versus a bridge?

When we lose a tooth, it’s not an easy pill to swallow. No one wants to lose a tooth! However, with updates in modern dentistry, there are options now to replace the teeth we lose with dental implants or bridges.

When we lose a tooth, ideally, we want to replace that tooth in order to avoid further shifting of opposing and adjacent teeth, as well as to maintain a proper stable bite in our mouths. Therefore, what are our options?!

Dental Implants

Let’s focus on losing just a single tooth at this time. The ‘gold standard’ of treatment currently when we lose a single tooth is a dental implant. Technology today has allowed us as dentists/surgeons to place implants accurately and more reliably.

Yes, this is the ideal way to replace a tooth, but it may not be the ‘ideal’ solution for you as a patient. The advantages of a dental implant mainly focuses on the aspect that we are dealing only with the tooth in question. This solution continues to keep the issue a ‘one tooth problem’, and is not involving the other teeth around it.

Some disadvantages could be the cost for the patient, as well as, time – dental implants do take time to heal and integrate properly. Each implant case is different for everyone and for every tooth; however, the final outcome is generally very predictable and well worth the time and effort spent!

It’s important to discuss dental implant options available to you with your dentist, this is the best way to determine the best treatment plan, budgeting, and possible long-term options to spread our the costs of implants if needed.

Dental Bridges

What’s another option to replace a missing tooth?

A dental bridge is also a good solution. It’s a different solution than an implant, but still serves the purpose of replacing a missing tooth.  A dental bridge is now involving the two adjacent teeth on either side of the tooth that is extracted. Crowns will be placed on those two teeth with a fake tooth in the middle to take the place of the missing tooth. This is also another permanent option that doesn’t come in and out of your mouth, but now it’s involving two other teeth, which over time could turn into a ‘three-tooth issue’ rather than just the ‘one tooth issue’. A bridge is a great option when the adjacent teeth have had a lot of previous treatment and could benefit from crown coverage. Some advantages of a bridge could be cost, as well as, a shorter time of healing compared to an implant.

Both options are very good permanent replacement options that we still encourage our patients to consider when replacing a missing tooth. They also have their pros and cons, but it’s important to be educated that there are usually multiple ways that a tooth can be replaced.

Talk to your dentist and discuss with them the advantages/disadvantages and logistics of each – it’s your mouth and we as dentists are here to guide you in the direction that will be the best for you!

Contact us or talk to your dentist during your next visit to our Camp Hill office about all of the options available to you for tooth replacement and cosmetic dentistry. You’ll be surprised at the number of options available for dental implants and dental bridges.

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