Losing a tooth can take its toll, not just on your oral health, but also on your self-image. It can be a challenge to act confidently around others when you don't even want to open your mouth.
So, the first step is to decide (with the help of your dentist) which type of tooth replacement best suits you. You know that bridges replace missing teeth, but you've also heard that dental implants are another option. The question is, which is right for you?
Benefits of Dental Implants vs. Bridges
It will help you to understand the difference between the two; they both replace teeth, but they use dramatically different methods to do so. For example, a bridge is typically a three-piece unit that uses an artificial tooth to improve esthetics by filling in the space left by a missing tooth.
A dental implant, on the other hand, is designed to replace the entire tooth - from root to crown - to restore esthetics and function. As a permanent fixture in your mouth, dental implants outperform bridges in several ways:
- Implants are permanent – The base of an implant is a titanium post that's placed in your jaw and fuses with surrounding bone and tissue. After healing is complete, the post becomes a permanent part of your dental anatomy. Since bridges are not rooted in your jaw, they may need to be replaced several times in your lifetime.
- Implants protect jaw structure – A natural tooth stimulates the continued healthy growth of bone in your jaw. When you have a bridge, there's no longer a root to stimulate bone growth, leading to shrinking of bone over time.
- Implants help save tooth structure – A dental bridge is a two-tooth solution for a one-tooth problem because adjacent teeth need to be shaved down to accommodate the crowns that hold it in place. Since an implant is a standalone replacement, neighboring teeth are left intact.
Considering dental implants? Call Dental Care at Moon Valley
If you live in Phoenix, AZ and you're considering dental implants, please call Dr. Chad Hines. He will be happy to explain how implants work and check to see if you're a good candidate!