A question that some people ask at Dr. Jade Thomas’s office is the difference between dental implants and bridges. After loosing a tooth, many patients wonder what they should do, which is understandable. It is a big decision, and you should know the differences between the two.
Dental implants replace the root and crown. This is done with an evaluation of your jawbone, where an artificial root usually made of titanium is placed. This is where your oral surgeon will place the abutment or the replacement crown.
Now, bridges are similar to dentures. This dental attachment is placed on the gums. The surrounding healthy teeth are used as anchors and are treated to make sure that the bridge is properly secured. In essence, your healthy teeth will act as hooks unlike dentures, which are usually attached to a metal framework attached to your teeth.
Which One is Better?
Pros for Dental Implants
- Will not affect healthy teeth
- Restores gum and jawbone stimulation, which keeps both strong
- Does not lead to facial deformation over time
- Implants do not decay
- Implants can be treated like a normal tooth when brushing and flossing
Alternative Mini-Implant Procedure
Those who are missing only one tooth or have less jaw bone material to work with might want to consider mini implants. This is a good alternative to dental implants. The concept is similar to regular dental implants because your dentist will place a titanium post into your jawbone. The difference is that the post is relatively smaller, and the procedure is minimally invasive. The healing process does not take as long, and the price can be more affordable.
Keep in mind that mini implants do not only replace a missing tooth but could also be used to anchor dentures should you be interested in that.
Dental bridges will in most instances not require a surgical procedure, although there is a certain amount of prep work to be performed with the surrounding teeth to create the base which supports the denture. Therefore this lesser invasive approach is what often attracts some people to this option. It is definitely less time-consuming and an inexpensive alternative to implants.
The issue is bridges can make the rest of your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay for a couple of reasons. They can be difficult to floss between the bridge and the gum tissue below and because they force the dental professional to remove enamel from healthy teeth. Enamel is a protective layer that lies over your teeth and helps keep bacteria at bay. Not to mention that bridges do not support your gum and jawbone, which may end up weakening them and could lead to facial deformations over time.
To learn more about how Banyan Dental can help you to start smiling again contact our Port St. Lucie office for a free consultation regarding any cosmetic dental work at (772) 344-3300.