Missing teeth can greatly impact your smile, ability to eat and talk, and your self-esteem. Whether you have one or several missing teeth, it can be difficult to feel confident and regain normal dental functions.
But the good news is, you don’t have to live with missing teeth for the rest of your life. In fact, you shouldn’t. That’s because, over time, the alignment of the remaining teeth in your mouth can shift, causing the jawbone to shrink and alter your facial structure.
And more importantly, as restorative continues to advance, you now have more options for filling in the gaps left by missing teeth and restoring your smile. Two of the most popular and highly recommended treatments are dental implants and dental bridges. But the question is, which one is best for your needs?
Let’s find out the differences between dental implants and dental bridges, and see what your periodontist in Oakville recommends for restoring your smile.
What are dental bridges?
For the longest time, dental bridges were the leading option for tooth replacement, along with dentures. Today, they’re still quite popular among many people who want to have their missing teeth placed quickly, without going through an extensive procedure.
How do dental bridges work?
Dental bridges literally “bridge” the gap left by missing teeth. A bridge is anchored to one or more adjacent healthy teeth, essentially requiring them to function as a support mechanism for the bridge. These healthy teeth may also be filed down to fit the bridge.
Dental bridges work best when you have remaining teeth right next to the gap, since they use the surrounding teeth as a buttress for attaching an artificial dental crown or tooth. A single bridge can help replace one to four teeth, provided that your adjacent teeth are healthy.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants, on the other hand, enable the long-lasting replacement of missing teeth. The implants consist of titanium posts fused to the jawbone, permanently anchoring them. The implants essentially function as the new roots of artificial dental crowns attached to it.
How do dental implants work?
Because of this, dental implants are known to be the most secure and longest-lasting replacement for missing teeth. In fact, implants can last up to decades with good oral hygiene and lifestyle habits.
And the best part? Dental implants provide you with new teeth that look, feel, and function like your natural ones. They allow you to eat, talk, and smile with ease and confidence, so you won’t have to worry about dietary restrictions, your speech, and appearance.
Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants: Pros and Cons
Now that you know how both tooth replacement systems work, it’s time to decide: which one is best for you? Both dental implants and bridges are popular options for replacing missing teeth and restoring your smile, but each has pros and cons. Let’s compare and contrast their strengths and weaknesses to help you decide.
Dental Bridge Pros
Dental bridges are a fast and simple tooth replacement method, allowing you to regain your smile in no time—and that’s just one of its biggest advantages. Check out more:
- Even if your jawbone has deteriorated, you can receive a dental bridge without needing a bone graft, unlike in a dental implant
- It’s a nonsurgical, less invasive procedure than getting dental implants
- Placing dental bridges is a fast procedure, which restores your smile quickly
- Dental bridges are a lot more affordable, making tooth replacement possible for more people.
Dental Bridge Cons
Despite their advantages, dental bridges are also associated with certain disadvantages. For one, they’re not a complete and permanent tooth replacement system. Here are more cons:
- Dental bridges need healthy adjacent teeth to attach to. However, these teeth may be susceptible to decay in the long run, since they need to have their enamel filed down to support the bridge
- Dental bridges are not as durable as implants, typically only lasting 5 to 15 years with proper care
- They don’t replace the roots of missing teeth, causing the jawbone to deteriorate despite the crown restoration above the gumline.
Dental Implant Pros
On the other hand, dental implants are undoubtedly the leading option for tooth replacement. They provide a complete system, from root to crown to ensure long-lasting function. Here are more advantages of dental implants:
- Dental implants enable full dental function by anchoring artificial teeth that look, feel, and work like your natural teeth. You’ll be able to eat and talk normally
- Dental implants can last up to decades with proper care, so you won’t have to worry about frequent replacements
- Caring for dental implants isn’t different from natural teeth—just brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist
- Unlike bridges, they don’t require the support of surrounding teeth and as a result, don’t strain remaining healthy teeth.
Dental Implant Cons
Despite their numerous advantages, there are still some factors that prevent people from getting dental implants. Here are their reasons:
- Dental implants require a series of procedures, from placing a bone graft and fusing the implant, to attaching your new teeth. Combined, the entire process can take several months
- If your jawbone has deteriorated, you will need a bone graft to restore its strength before the implants can be placed, extending the wait for your new teeth.
- Getting dental implants is an invasive surgical procedure. And like any surgery, the risk is higher
- Dental implants are an investment in your long-term oral health and function. As such, they are not the cheapest option for replacing missing teeth. However, it’s very cost-effective in the long run and many periodontists offer payment plans.
The Verdict for Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants: Ask Our Periodontists in Oakville
At Periodontal Associates, our periodontists are highly trained in replacing missing teeth. We offer dental implants, the most effective tooth replacement method for many people in Oakville. Our goal is to help replace your missing teeth with the best treatment for your needs and quality of life.
You can trust our periodontists to support you at every step, from consultation to procedure and long-term periodontal care. Find out which tooth replacement method is best for your specific needs, and see how we can restore your complete, healthy smile.
Choosing between dental bridges and dental implants? Find out which one is right for you. Contact Periodontal Associates in Oakville today.