|Dental Implants vs Dental Bridges
Lost teeth can cause problems for the appearance and functionality of your remaining ones. We frequently recommend dental implants and dental bridges to fix this. However, these two options have some important differences that you should know about.
The structures underneath your teeth have important yet unseen functions. Tooth roots stimulate the jaw bone and keep it healthy. When a tooth is missing, the underlying jaw bone is no longer stimulated and will begin to deteriorate.
Dental implants consist of a metal post and a ceramic crown. The post, usually made of titanium, is embedded into the jawbone to provide the necessary stimulation. Over the next few months, the jaw bone should grow around the post and bond with it via a process known as osseointegration. Once Dr. Jae Seon Kim determines the implant is secure, he will attach a tooth-like crown.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants have several advantages. First, as stated above, they stimulate the jaw bone to keep it healthy. Bridges do not. Implants also tend to burden surrounding teeth less and prevent long-term jaw problems. If cared for properly, dental implants can last for the rest of your life.
However, dental implants have several downsides. First off, they are expensive. Placing even one implant can cost thousands of dollars. It gets even more expensive when we’re replacing several individual teeth in different areas. If we need to replace a large number of teeth, it is more cost effective to use a bridge instead.
Another factor is time. Dental implants take longer to place and need several procedures. Patients often need oral surgery, and their mouths may need a healing period lasting a few months after the first procedure. On the other hand, we can place bridges in a matter of weeks.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are attached to healthy teeth on both sides of the space to form a bridge, restoring the patient’s smile. More traditional procedures have us shave down both teeth so the bridge will fit properly. We then put a cap on top of each tooth, along with the bridge, to act as a replacement for the missing teeth.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Bridges
The primary benefit of bridges is their affordability. They are one of the most cost-effective tooth replacement procedures. Secondly, if a patient has suffered bone loss, they won’t need bone grafts to get a dental bridge put in. Implants, on the other hand, require bone grafting. The procedures for bridges take considerably less time than implant procedures.
Bridges also have their share of disadvantages, such as the fact that they can’t deal with complications about the jaw bone and underlying tooth structures. As a result, these complications will persist after we bridge the gap. Another big drawback with dental bridges is that they put more pressure on surrounding areas, such as the two teeth connected to the bridge. Bridges rarely last for the rest of the patient’s life because of that.
The best way to figure out which option is right for you is to come in for a consultation. Dr. Jae Seon Kim will help you determine the best choice given your budget and medical history.
For more information, please contact our office at (206) 607-9822.