Tooth loss is more common than you might think. You should always have any missing teeth replaced to ensure the remaining ones stay properly aligned and healthy. Replacing your teeth also keeps your jaw and face in their proper place. When you think of tooth replacement, several options may come to mind. Dental implants and bridges are two of the more common methods. The following are some things you should know about dental implants and bridges as tooth replacement options:
What Is the Difference?
When it comes to implants and bridges, there are several vast differences to keep in mind. Dental implants are essentially false teeth or crowns connected to a titanium rod that is implanted directly into the jawbone. A bridge is an oral appliance that connects to the two teeth on the sides of the empty space where your missing tooth used to be. The space holds a false tooth to fill in the empty space. Some bridges can be permanently affixed while others can be taken out and cleaned each day.
Are There Benefits to Either Option?
There are some benefits to both a dental implant and a bridge. A bridge is less expensive and more likely to be covered under your insurance plan. You do not need to have any invasive procedures to get a dental bridge. You can typically finish the process of getting a bridge is just a couple of office visits.
Dental implants are essentially lifelong procedures and do not need to be replaced. They are more natural-looking and do not impact the other teeth around the implant.
What Are the Drawbacks?
Along with benefits, each tooth replacement option has some drawbacks. Dental bridges will eventually need to be replaced. They do not look as natural as implants and can cause damage to the surrounding teeth.
Dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement options. Many dental insurances do not cover dental implants, or at least they only cover a very small portion of the cost of the procedure. To get implants, you have to go through a surgical procedure that will often take a few months before it is fully complete.
Which Option Is Best for You?
The tooth replacement option best for you will be based on several factors. First, it depends on how many teeth you need to replace. The health of your jawbone will also depend on whether or not you can get implants or if you would fare better with a bridge. Your dental insurance and the amount of money you want to invest into replacing your teeth are things to think about, too. Contact a local dentist to learn more about dental implants and bridges.