Are you missing a tooth? Not only can a missing tooth make you self-conscious and embarrassed, it can cause other issues like difficulty eating, speech problems, and teeth movement within your mouth. Therefore, you should never ignore missing teeth. But what is the best way to replace your missing tooth? Fortunately, you have two options – dental bridges or dental implants.
While a dental bridge may work well for one Hendricks County resident, it may not be the right choice for another. The same can be said about dental implants. Therefore, Danville Family Dentistry wants to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
What Is the Difference Between a Dental Bridge and a Dental Implant?
A dental bridge is a replacement tooth or teeth used to fill the gap caused by one or more missing teeth. A pair of crowns are installed on the natural teeth on either side of the gap to anchor the bridge. A custom-made, one-piece bridge of an artificial tooth or teeth is made to fill the gap. The bridge is attached to the anchoring or abutment teeth and cemented into place.
A dental implant is a small cylinder-shaped, titanium post that’s surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gums at the site of the missing tooth. The cylinder bonds with the existing bone tissue to create an artificial root. A replacement tooth or crown is mounted onto the post.
What Factors Should You Consider in Your Choice?
When deciding which option you should choose, there are several things you need to consider:
Current Oral and Physical Health
To be approved for a dental implant, you must have sufficient jaw bone structure for implantation. If you’re a smoker, you will need to quit before you can qualify. Smoking increases the risk of implant failure. If you have diabetes, cancer, or periodontal disease, you may need additional dental treatments to qualify for implantation.
For dental bridge consideration, the health and stability of your anchoring teeth will be a factor. If your anchoring teeth have tooth decay, chips or cracks, or you have periodontal disease, you may need to have additional treatments before your teeth are strong enough to support a bridge.
Dental bridges can be very natural looking, but dental implants often look and feel more like your natural teeth. However, if a metal implant is placed in a front tooth, it may show through the gums. Whereas, implants in the back teeth are less likely to show.
Dental bridges have a shorter lifespan than dental implants. Depending on care and maintenance, bridges last about 10 years before they must be replaced. Whereas, most implants will last 15 or more years with proper care.
Many Hendricks County residents opt for a dental bridge over a dental implant because of the length of each procedure. In most cases, a bridge can be completed within 2 to 3 visits over a few weeks. However, an implant can require 3 or more visits over 3 to 6 months.
Bridges are covered by most dental insurance plans, but implants are rarely covered.
Dental implants are one of the costlier dental treatments. The total fees for a typical implant can start around the top end cost for a bridge and end up costing a couple thousand dollars higher.
Replace Your Missing Tooth at Danville Family Dentistry
Whichever procedure you choose, our team at Danville Family Dentistry can perform it for you. If you’re still not sure whether a bridge or implant is right for you, talk to Dr. Jon Erickson. He can help you identify the best option based on your oral health, desired outcome, and budget. Contact our Hendricks County office to book an appointment. Let us help restore your smile.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.