If you’re someone who is missing one or more teeth, you will have some good options available to you for replacement. Two of the most popular replacement options these days are dental bridges and dental implants, and you might be wondering which one would be more suitable for your circumstances. In this discussion, we’ll describe the advantages of each replacement solution, so that you can discuss with your dentist and arrive at the decision which is best for you.
Dental bridges have been around for more than 4000 years, since they were actually used in ancient China to replace missing teeth. Of course, they were much simpler in those days and lacked the aesthetic appeal of modern bridges, but they were effective all the same. Having a dental bridge installed today will provide you with some considerable health benefits, for instance improving your smile, your chewing, and your speech. It will also help to retain the natural contours of your facial features, which would not be the case if you allowed the missing tooth to go un-replaced.
Once you have a dental bridge installed, it will fill in the gap from the missing tooth, and that will prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap. If this were to happen, teeth on both sides of the gap could be out of alignment, and that could cause degradation to your chewing effectiveness, your speech, and your personal appearance.
Probably the biggest single advantage of dental bridges over dental implants or any other tooth replacement solution, is its relatively inexpensive cost. If you are unable to get insurance coverage for your tooth replacement, and are forced to pay the cost out-of-pocket, your best bet may be to go with the dental bridge, simply because of its cheaper cost.
First of all, dental implants provide all the same advantages that a dental bridge would, except for the cheaper cost. An implant will always cost more because it involves a surgical procedure to install the titanium implant in your jawbone. It will cost even more if it’s necessary to build up that jawbone so that it’s strong enough to accept the titanium screw which gets emplaced.
As opposed to any other possible solution, a dental implant is by far the sturdiest and longest-lasting, because it fuses with your jawbone and actually becomes part of your body. It also does not rely on the support of surrounding teeth as a dental bridge does, because it provides all its own support, being firmly anchored in the jawbone. Dental implants also promote good bone health and prevent the jawbone from receding, which is something that no other tooth replacement option can do.
Bridges will eventually require replacement, because the bone beneath them as well as the gum tissue will both become altered in shape, and will recede at some point. This does not occur with dental implants. This being the case, if you can afford to have dental implants installed, they are in most cases, the superior option for tooth replacement.