Today, there are many options for individuals missing multiple teeth. While dental bridges have been the traditional option for replacing several teeth at once or teeth whose roots cannot be saved, dental implants can provide benefits in various important areas.
Every patient is unique, so a consultation with an oral surgeon is required to determine which treatment option is right for you. However, you can keep reading to find out why dental implants are the preferred treatment option in many cases.
What Are the Differences Between Dental Implants and Dental Bridges?
Dental implants and bridges can both provide an effective solution for missing teeth. However, they accomplish these in different ways. Because of that, there are certain situations where one option is more suitable than the other. If both options are viable, dental implants are often the choice that will provide better overall results.
A dental bridge is a row of several replacement teeth that are made of porcelain, ceramic, or other suitable materials. They are similar to dental crowns, except they will replace three or more teeth instead of just one.
To install a dental bridge, material from two teeth on either end of the span to be replaced is removed. This creates a base for the bridge at either end of the gap, where it will be attached to the prepared teeth with dental cement. This allows a dental bridge to replace a tooth that is entirely missing.
Dental implants do not rely on natural teeth to provide a base. The dental implants themselves form the base with titanium posts that are embedded in the jawbone. A tooth replacement is attached to the top of the post or posts to replace one tooth, multiple teeth, or even a full arch.
Dental implants are generally a better long-term solution, as the posts themselves are permanent. They can also be applied to a wider range of dental situations.
Dental Implants Do Not Alter Your Natural Teeth
When a dental bridge is installed, it relies on two natural teeth to provide support. These healthy natural teeth have significant enamel removed to prepare them for the treatment, which can sometimes lead to issues down the road.
Bridges can help prevent dental issues associated with missing teeth, but it would be better not to alter any natural teeth whenever possible. In the case of crowns, the tooth that is used as a base is the damaged or decayed tooth being replaced, so this consideration does not apply.
Dental implants provide replacement teeth without the need to alter natural teeth. They provide the same benefits in terms of appearance, long-term oral health, and function without causing damage to any of your remaining teeth.
Dental Implants Deliver Long-Lasting Results
Dental implants are made up of two parts – the titanium post and the tooth replacement that goes over it. The dental implant post itself generally lasts a lifetime, with the crown, bridge, or full arch replacement fixed to it, requiring replacement in ten to fifteen years.
Dental bridges can last five to seven years in most cases, with some lasting ten or longer. They wear down over time or can become damaged by accidents, at which point they can be replaced.
When considering dental implants, it is important to remember that the initial implant procedure will only need to be done once. While you will eventually need a new crown, bridge, or full arch replacement, these attach to the permanent posts and are relatively straightforward to replace.
Dental Implants Provide Reliable Strength
Dental implants have the necessary strength to make eating and speaking very natural for patients. Restoring functionality is the top priority during most tooth replacements, so dental implants are typically considered the most effective option.
The titanium posts are physically embedded in the jawbone and undergo osseointegration during healing. This process strongly bonds the jawbone to the implant post, providing additional strength.
Dental bridges are generally also strong enough to stand up to everyday activities because they use natural teeth as a foundation. However, in the long run, they can put considerable stress on the supporting teeth and cause issues.
Make Sure Dental Implants Are the Right Choice
Dental implants are a great treatment option, but they are not right for every patient and every situation. You need a consultation with an oral surgeon to find out for sure. The board-certified oral surgeons at OKC-OMS have years of experience performing dental implant procedures, and you can read more about dental implants to find out whether they could be right for you.