You lost a couple of front teeth to severe decay a few months ago, and you’ve had a noticeable gap in your smile ever since. You want to get them replaced so you can stop feeling self-conscious every time you talk or laugh in public. People have been telling you how great dental implants are, but you’re hesitant to invest in them. After all, they require oral surgery, they take several months, and they can be expensive. Fortunately, there’s another option to replace your missing teeth – dental bridges. Keep reading below to learn why you should choose a dental bridge over dental implants.
HOW DENTAL BRIDGES WORK
Dental bridges can be used to replace one, two, or even three missing teeth in a row. This set of prosthetic teeth involves several dental crowns strung together. A crown is placed over the remaining natural tooth at either end of the space in your smile, known as abutment teeth. Artificial teeth called pontics are attached to these crowns, literally bridging the gap. Once the bridge is in place, it can restore your ability to smile, eat, and talk for more than a decade.
HOW DENTAL IMPLANTS WORK
A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium post that replicates the root structure of a missing tooth. During oral surgery, the post is placed directly into your jawbone. Over the next few months, the implant fuses with your jawbone until it’s able to act as the root of your new tooth. However, you typically have to wait until this integration process is complete to receive your restoration.
ADVANTAGES OF BRIDGES OVER IMPLANTS
While many dentists recommend dental implants rather than bridges, they’re not without their drawbacks. Some of the benefits of choosing a dental bridge instead are:
- Bridges don’t require that you receive oral surgery, while implant placement does. In addition, some patients must undergo a bone grafting procedure to prepare their jawbone.
- You can still get a bridge even if your jawbone has shrunk from tooth loss.
- Dental implants are notoriously expensive compared to bridges. Bridges are also much more likely to be covered by your dental insurance.
- A bridge can be placed in as few as two or three appointments. Implants take multiple appointments over the course of several months.
Although dental implants are the more popular option, bridges offer their own unique set of benefits. Ultimately, though, only your dentist can tell you which option would be better for you. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to determine which solution would be the right one for your smile.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Hector Carlos Tijerina achieved his doctorate at the Baylor College of Dentistry before opening Parkfield Family Dental in Austin, TX. As a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and the Texas Academy of General Dentistry, he keeps up with the latest dental techniques and technologies to deliver the best care possible. He offers dental bridges as a faster and easier solution to tooth loss than dental implants. To learn more about how bridges can benefit you, visit Dr. Tijerina’s website or call (512) 213-6778.