Missing teeth are not only embarrassing, they are often harmful to your oral health and can impair the functionality of your mouth and its uses. Replacing these missing teeth is an important step toward optimum oral condition and functionality. There are a few different options for replacing missing teeth: implants and crown/bridge.
The pros and cons of these dental procedures are important to review before you decide how you should proceed.
The Installation Process
Dental bridges are easy and non-surgical dental procedures at installation. Dentists can often complete the entire process in just two or three visits. A dental implant, however, requires surgery for installation, because it is essentially a series of procedures to recreate a missing tooth or group of teeth.
Maintenance and Upkeep
A critical thing to consider with replacement dental procedures is the maintenance and upkeep necessary. Dental crowns and bridges need replacement every 10-15 years for best results. While a high quality implant can last a lifetime and require very little maintenance (flossing is easier with implants, for instance), the cost for better quality is notable.
Affect on Other Teeth
One of the most notable benefits of dental implants is that this method prevents harm or strain on the neighboring natural teeth. Alternatively, a bridge is installed to use support from nearby teeth, and in some cases may cause strain on those teeth.
Replacing More Than One
If you have more than one tooth to replace, and especially if the missing teeth are adjacent to one another, an implant may be the only option available for dental procedures. Since bridges require healthy neighboring teeth, this procedure would not work in the case of more than one missing tooth or dentures.
In the case of bone loss in the jaw, or significant damage to your teeth and/or dental structure, a bridge system may be recommended. Since positioning implants requires healthy bone in the jaw, it may not be possible to use an implant in some cases.
For some individuals, cost alone is the deciding factor. Bridges are nearly always significantly less expensive dental procedures and systems than implants, but they do require replacement, so the overall cost at the end of the day may be higher.
Contact our offices to learn more about dental bridges and implants, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mimi.