When replacing a number of missing teeth, both dental bridges and dental implants are natural looking options. However, each of these options has pros and cons. Here's more about dental bridges and implants from our Surrey dentist.
Dental bridges and dental implants can help to restore natural function and appearance to the smiles of patients with missing teeth.
While they are both great options for replacing missing teeth, each has pros and cons that patients should be aware of.
Pros & Cons of Dental Implants
A dental implant is a tiny titanium rod that is permanently implanted into the jawbone where the natural tooth's root would have been.
Once an implant has been surgically placed, and given time to heal, it can be capped with a dental crown colour-matched to the rest of the surrounding teeth.
Dental implants look and function very much like natural teeth.
With proper care, dental implants can last upward of 25 years, and in some cases they can last a lifetime.
However, the dental implant process can be long. Having implants placed happens in stages and takes a number of weeks or even months to complete.
If the patient's jawbone is too thin or soft to support dental implants, a bone graft will be required before implants can be placed. It can take several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant.
Pros & Cons of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration, that is not completely permanent.
Dental bridges replace a single tooth or multiple teeth by attaching artificial teeth to adjacent teeth (or to dental implants) on either side of the gap. The artificial teeth 'bridge' the gap left by missing teeth.
Dental bridges can be an ideal tooth replacement option for people who have a number of missing teeth, and have experienced deterioration in the jaw bones and gums since the natural teeth were lost.
No additional bone or gum grafting surgeries will be required in order to place a dental bridge.
Getting a dental bridge is significantly less invasive than getting a dental implant.
That said, teeth adjacent to where the bridge will be placed must be prepared for the restoration by removing a large proportion of the enamel. This may cause the supporting teeth to be more susceptible to decay.
Dental bridges are not as durable as dental implants and will need to be replaced over time. However, with proper care dental bridges will last for many years.
Should I get a dental bridge or implants?
While research into both of these options is key to making an informed decision, only a dental professional can advise you on which option would be best for your unique case.