Replacing teeth has become a much easier task in the last 30 years. Loose or missing teeth can often cause infections in the mouth. When looking to replace lost teeth, your options are generally pretty limited to either bridges or implants to replace a lost tooth or lost teeth. There are situations when both have their merits. Usually implants are the better option, but it depends on the specific situation you are in. Implants are generally more durable and last a lot longer many times that means the lifetime of the person getting the implant. Bridges, however, generally required placement about every 10 years or so. However, in situations where the teeth around the teeth around the missing tooth/teeth are compromised, sometimes implants are not a feasible option. This includes when surrounding teeth have fillings, crowns, caps, or other dental work already done to them. Then, in those cases, bridges are generally your better bet. This is also the case when the tooth/teeth have been missing a long time and the gum tissue and bone around the teeth have receded far enough that there is not sufficient support to hold an implant in properly.
Implants are also easier to clean whereas bridges require extra care and cleaning each day to keep them from becoming infected as they are glued or cemented into the mouth. Bridges also must consist of at least three (3) crowns connected together to help bridge the gap between the teeth, making bridges much more complex to insert than implants. Flossing is also needed under the bridge to make sure that the food particles are kept out, and risks of infection are kept down. Implants are easier to care for as they are just brushed and flossed as normal with no extra care needed over that of a regular tooth.
Implants tend to be more durable and last a lifetime, whereas bridges need replaced every 10 years or so. Implants haves a cylinder made of titanium and those can fuse together with the bone to help keep the teeth in place better. The implant however must usually wait a few weeks or even a couple months after a tooth extraction to be put into place to allow proper time for the gums and the surrounding bone structure to heal. However, these implants must be inserted before the gum tissue and the bone structure around the tooth begin to decay or the tooth won’t be held in place properly. After the implant is put in, it generally takes at least 3-6 months for the titanium cylinder the tooth implant is in to fuse together with the gum line and allow the tooth to grow more naturally into its socket. Bridges, however, are just placed over part of the remaining healthy tooth and that tooth is then more subject to decay and gum disease as it is covered by the insert.
Oftentimes, implants provide the most pleasing aesthetic look, but results will vary based on the condition you have. Talk to your dentist about the way to get the most pleasing results for your situation.
Bridges are often initially cheaper than an implant, however if it has to be replaced multiple times, then the implant may well end up being cheaper in the end as they are generally permanent and last a person’s lifetime. The good news is that no matter which path you choose, implants or bridges, most insurance companies will help cover at least part of or a majority of the costs before you are required to pay out of pocket. Implants are also more attractive as they are usually allowed to be paid for in increments rather than all up front. This is great for anyone on a budget who can’t pay all at one time. Dental implants overall tend to be the best option, but both implants and bridges have their merits at certain times. Your dentist knows your mouth best, so consult them before making a final choice on which options fits you and your personal needs the best.
If you have questions regarding this article contact us or call 909-465-1016.
The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”