Dental Bridge Overview
Traditional dental bridges have a long track record of providing safe and reliable restored oral function following tooth loss. A dental bridge, which typically consists of two crowns and a false tooth, can be fabricated from a wide range of materials. For visible teeth, ceramic is the preferred base material because porcelain matches the color and luster of enamel.
To receive a traditional bridge, two teeth (one on each side of the gap in your smile) will need to be prepared. This step requires that a layer of tooth structure is removed so the crown can fit securely over the abutment teeth. Once your teeth are prepped, digital impressions are made, and your new bridge will be fabricated by a trusted dental lab. Patients are fitted with a temporary crown while they wait for their prosthetic to be fabricated.
Once your dental bridge arrives at our office, one of our doctors will use a strong cement to place the two dental crowns. A dental bridge can last 10 to 20 years on average before it needs to be replaced.
Dental Implant Overview
Dental implants require that patients undergo oral surgery under the skilled hands of one of our doctors. A dental implant replaces a single missing tooth through the use of a dental crown. Once one of our doctors surgically places the titanium post in your jaw, it effectively replaces a missing tooth root. The implant fuses with surrounding jawbone tissue over time, which allows the crown to feel and function like a natural tooth.
Candidates for dental implants must be in good oral health and free of bone atrophy. If you have suffered bone loss as the result of a missing tooth, you may require bone graft surgery to restore your candidacy for this life-changing procedure.
Which Option Is Right for Me?
There are many factors that should be considered when choosing between a traditional dental bridge and a dental implant. The first factor is time and money. Dental implants require a greater upfront investment, but many patients find that the benefits of dental implants are well worth it. Placing a dental bridge typically requires two visits to our office and a treatment of a few weeks. A dental implant requires a few months of recovery before your crown can be placed.
A dental implant offers many unique benefits. The titanium post prevents jawbone atrophy, which can leave patients with sunken-in cheeks. Implants also offer superior stability that traditional prosthetics simply cannot match. Implants are also the only permanent solution to tooth loss. When proper oral hygiene is followed and regular dental appointments are kept, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
No two patients’ situations are exactly the same. If you have experienced tooth loss or have a tooth extraction planned, one of our doctors will describe the benefits of both restorative treatments so you can find the right solution for your unique oral health and cosmetic needs.