A single missing tooth (or multiple missing teeth) can ultimately affect proper chewing and speaking, not to mention having a significant impact on the appearance of your smile. Thankfully, advanced options such as dental implants and dental bridges can replace missing teeth with results that address both functional and aesthetic concerns. With that in mind, what exactly are the differences between implants and bridges?
Let’s compare these two advanced treatments:
Dental bridges have been a popular restorative dentistry option for many years. This treatment is designed to literally “bridge” the gap caused by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge is made up of a customized artificial tooth (or teeth) that is placed between the original teeth that are adjacent to the gap. There are different types of bridges; some are removable, while others are “fixed” into position. Dental bridges typically do not involve oral surgery. For patients who are not candidates for dental implants, bridges can often provide an effective alternative.
Dental implants are also designed to replace missing teeth, but hold several distinctions when compared with dental bridges. These advanced treatment options are essentially designed to mimic a natural tooth down to the root. An implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically inserted through the gum and anchored to the jaw bone. Once it has fused to the bone, a custom-designed dental crown is affixed to the top of the post to provide results that both look and feel as much like a natural tooth as possible.
While implants and bridges are very different methods of treatment, it’s not uncommon for them to work together. In fact, many patients have what’s known as an “implant-supported” bridge to provide greater stability for the new teeth.
Ultimately, each individual’s needs and goals are unique. Our experienced dentist will meet with you for an initial evaluation and consultation to talk with you about your missing teeth replacement options and determine the ideal treatment plan.