Dental bridges and dental implants are both restorative treatments that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Today, our Hamilton dentists explain more about the difference between the two treatment options.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are fixed dental appliances that literally "bridge" the gap left by missing teeth. They are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges are permanently attached to the teeth on either side of the gap and cannot be removed (except by your dentist). In some situations, a bridge may only be affixed on one side, this is known as a cantilever bridge.
How to care for your dental bridges
Once your dental bridge has been installed, you can treat it in the same way that you would treat your natural teeth. Your bridge should last for many years if you maintain it properly with regular brushing and flossing. You should also continue to see your dentist on a regular basis.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Once healed, a dental crown (cap) is then placed on top of the implant to serve as the artificial tooth replacement.
Dental implants are made of titanium because it is a durable and corrosion-resistant metal that has the ability to bond with your natural bone. When used together, the dental crown and implant have a very similar appearance and feel to a natural tooth.
How to care for your dental implants
Like with bridges, you should take care of your dental implants just like your natural teeth. This includes a strong brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist.
How do I know which option is right for me?
Dental implants and dental bridges both have their advantages, and the best option for any given person will depend on that person's oral health need, preferences, and financial situation.
The placement of dental implants is significantly more invasive than the placement of dental bridges. However, dental implants can often appear and feel more natural than dental bridges.
In addition, for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you must have a sufficient volume of jaw bone. If you don't have enough bone in your jaw, you may still be able to get an implant, but you would need to undergo a bone grafting procedure first to ensure that the implant could be supported. As a result, the implant process would take longer and be somewhat more invasive.
At the end of the day, the only way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult with your dentist.