When you have a missing tooth, the two most common options for tooth replacement are bridges or dental implants. Each has its own advantages and is extremely effective. But how can you feel confident about selecting the one that’s best for your particular situation? Our Phoenix dentist compares the two below so that you can make an educated decision about your smile’s restoration:
Dental Bridges: How They Work
A dental bridge is essentially 3-4 “crowns” fused on either side of one another, creating a longer, multi-tooth restoration. They’re used to replace one or two teeth at a time by forming a “bridge” across the gap that’s created by the missing teeth. Either end of the bridge functions like a typical crown (aka “cap”) over the tooth supporting it.
Bridges are handcrafted for optimal durability and aesthetics, allowing you to smile, eat, and speak confidently. They’re beneficial particularly when the teeth on either side of the missing ones need a protective crown. For example, you might have a large cavity, crack, or older fillings that need to be replaced. The functional crown helps protect that tooth while also playing a dual role of replacing the missing ones.
However, dental bridges do have a downside. If your supporting teeth are fully intact and completely healthy, placing a bridge on top of them means an unnecessary reduction in virgin tooth enamel. It’s basically like crowing a tooth that doesn’t need to be restored. This slightly invasive scenario may be ideal if you don’t qualify for a dental implant, but it’s not ideal.
Dental Implants: Added Advantages
Dental implants provide a non-invasive tooth replacement option that stands independently of your other teeth. That means no reshaping or drilling neighboring healthy teeth. Each implant functions as its own artificial tooth root, supporting the fixed restoration on top of it. In the case of a single tooth, our Phoenix dentist would use an individual implant and crown. For multiple teeth, we would use a pair of implants to support their own independent dental bridge.
Modern implants also include a variety of other benefits, aside from just being non-invasive to neighboring teeth. For instance, the material that implants are made from helps promote healthy, denser bone. In turn, this delays bone loss and premature aging—such as sunken facial tissues—often seen in people with tooth loss. Plus, implants are stronger than teeth and capable of lasting an entire lifetime. They’re more of a one-time investment as opposed to more conventional types of tooth replacement treatments.
Get a Custom Consultation
There’s no “one” perfect treatment for everyone. Your situation will be different than that of your friend or neighbor. When you visit Central Valley Dentistry in Phoenix, Dr. Behbahani will present the best-case scenario for your unique oral health needs and give you all of the appropriate options. Together, you can make an educated choice about your upcoming treatment and feel confident in your smile investment.
Dental Bridges vs. Implants
Call our Phoenix dentist today to reserve an appointment.