If you have a missing tooth, should you choose a dental implant or a bridge to replace it? Reviewing the differences and the results you can expect from each treatment can help you decide.
A dental bridge is a series of connected crowns designed to replace a missing tooth. The replacement tooth is in the middle of the bridge. And a crown on each end covers the tooth adjacent to the missing one and anchors the bridge.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is surgically placed in your jawbone. It includes a root form, usually made of titanium, an abutment that serves as a connector, and a dental crown attached to the abutment.
Comparing a Dental Bridge with an Implant
- The process is faster than receiving a dental implant. It can be completed in two appointments maybe a week or two apart.
- It requires no special skills. Dentists can place a bridge without any additional post-graduate training.
- It costs slightly less than a dental implant.
- Crowns may need to be placed on perfectly healthy teeth to support the bridge.
- Teeth that anchor the bridge bear extra stress. If one of them becomes weak, the bridge may need to be replaced and lengthened for an additional support tooth.
- The teeth that have crowns may be sensitive to heat and cold for a few weeks after receiving the bridge.
- Oral hygiene will become more complicated. You should use a floss threader to clean under the bridge to help prevent decay and gum disease on the abutment teeth.
- If you have future problems with any tooth involved in the bridge, it will likely require replacing the entire bridge.
- No work on adjacent teeth is required. Your jawbone anchors the missing tooth so you don’t have to rely on the adjacent teeth.
- Implants stimulate the jawbone and prevent bone loss that will occur where a tooth is missing.
- It looks and feels like a natural tooth.
- No changes in your oral hygiene routine are required. Simply brush and floss the way you usually do.
- After implant surgery, you’ll wait two to four months for the implant to fuse with your jawbone. Afterward, Dr. Theriot will attach the crown to the implant.
- Implants are more expensive than any other form of tooth replacement.
Dental Implant vs. Bridge Consultation
Dr. Theriot has extensive training in implantology and is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He also understands the techniques required to give you a natural-looking bridge. He will explain your options and let you know what to expect. Call us to schedule a complimentary consultation or an appointment for an exam. Or, you can request an appointment online.