Dental Bridges Vs. Dental Implants
At University Periodontal Associates, we want to ensure that you get the best treatment for whatever scenario your mouth needs at the time. We find that keeping our patients educated as to what the best practices in dentistry are currently, helps them to make informed and intelligent decisions for their oral health.
Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants
Dental bridges used to be the best way to replace missing teeth, but now dental implants offer a more robust and longer lasting solution to tooth replacement.
How Dental Bridges WorkMany years ago, when teeth were missing and needed to be replace, dental professionals turned to dental bridges to fill the gap literally and figuratively. Dental bridges were named thusly because they bridged the gap left by lost teeth. If you were missing two or three teeth in a row and had two healthy teeth on either side of that gap, a bridge of false teeth could be placed over that gap using the two healthy teeth as anchors.
So what is the problem with dental bridges? The issue arises in the anchor teeth. As stated above, we need two healthy to act as anchor points for the bridge of false teeth. The way that the bridge is affixed to the anchor teeth is by being placed over them. We can’t place anything over natural and healthy teeth – they are too big and obscure. In order to ensure that the bridge can be place over an anchor tooth we modify the anchor teeth by removing a good portion of the outer layers of the tooth to shape it into a dome-like structure.
Essentially, having a traditional bridge placed means greatly modifying two perfectly healthy and useful teeth. Further, dental bridges have an estimated lifetime of roughly seven years. That seven-year lifetime figure is so reliable that insurance companies even base their replacement period on it. That means that a bridge will usually need some sort of continuing maintenance over the following years.
How Dental Implants WorkDental implants are currently the best tooth replacement option on the market. When you lose a tooth, a dental implant is placed in the exact spot where the tooth used to be, filling the gap and giving you a working tooth replacement. They are permanently placed into the jawbone and eventually heal permanently into place. This gives patients a reliable and self-contained tooth replacement option that leaves all of your healthy teeth alone.
What’s the better option?
Whenever we can leave healthy teeth alone and still replace missing teeth we consider that a big win. In this case, dental implants are the clear winner in terms of continued oral health. Not only do they allow us to leave your healthy teeth alone – they act in the same way that your natural teeth do to promote healthy gums and bone structure.
Bridges simply arch over the area where teeth have been lost. They do nothing to stimulate the bone structure below the gums. Dental implants give you every positive aspect of your lost teeth back and they do so in a way that guarantees you continued oral health.
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