|Dental Implant vs Dental Bridges
Approximately 69% of American adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost at least one tooth. By 74 years of age, about 25% of this group loses all their teeth. When you lose a tooth, Dr. Garcia and Dr. Alexandra Garcia at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS recommend you get proper teeth replacement to keep the rest of your teeth aligned. These prosthetics can give you a range of benefits for your oral health. Two of the most common dental replacement devices are dental implants and dental bridges.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium screw-like prosthetics that serve as artificial tooth roots. They are placed in the jawbone where they fuse with the bone and provide a steady foundation to hold a dental crown or a fixed bridge.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are replacement teeth that are suspended in the gap left by the missing teeth. These bridges are anchored by adjacent healthy teeth that are shaved down to accommodate dental crowns. A dental bridge can cover one or several missing teeth in a row.
Dental Implants vs Dental Bridges
Dental implants and dental bridges come with their share of pros and cons:
Visibility and Feel
Dental bridges aren’t embedded in your jawbone so their structure may be visible in between the replacement teeth. Dental bridges can also feel slightly bulky in your mouth; however, after a few weeks, they should start to feel more comfortable. On the other hand, dental implants are the most natural-looking and natural-feeling prosthetics and look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Preserving Natural Teeth
Dental bridges require that the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap be shaved down to accommodate crowns, which hold the bridge aloft. This means you are reducing the overall health of your mouth. On the other hand, dental implants do not affect your remaining teeth. However, dental implant surgery is more extensive and complex than dental bridges.
Although we make high-quality dental bridges, they cannot bear as much force as dental implants. If you exert too much chewing force on a dental bridge, you may damage the bridge or crack the crowns. Dental implants, however, can withstand as much pressure as your natural teeth since they are embedded firmly into your jaw.
When you lose a tooth, the teeth on either side of the gap will shift out of place to cover the space. This will result in crooked teeth. A dental bridge can prevent the teeth from shifting out of place but since it is not embedded in the jaw, it cannot stop bone deterioration over time. On the other hand, a dental implant acts like the real root of your tooth and will exert the same force on your jaw like your natural teeth, allowing the jaw to develop and strengthen.
With proper care, dental implants can last for as long as 25 years. Dental bridges can also last for several years but they tend to weaken from the chewing pressure over time and the fact that the teeth anchoring them have been eroded down. Hence, a dental bridge will need to be restored after a year.
Whether you have a dental implant or a bridge, you will need to take good care of both of them to ensure they last a long time. A dental implant or bridge should be brushed and flossed just like regular teeth; however, it will require some learning to properly clean your bridges because of its framework.
No matter what dental restoration option you decide on, the key to its success is proper oral hygiene, good lifestyle habits, and keeping your routine dental appointments. If you are missing teeth and want to get a replacement for them, schedule an appointment with Dr. Garcia and Dr. Alexandra Garcia by calling (346) 250-2930 today.