When you’re missing a tooth (or two), it’s more than just a cosmetic problem – it can affect the health of your entire mouth. As you rely on your remaining teeth to do all the heavy lifting, they may begin to wear out prematurely or even crack under the pressure. What’s more, having a missing tooth can impact your bite and your speech, and you may even experience headaches or jaw pain.
With this in mind, it’s important to replace a missing tooth before your oral health deteriorates further. But which treatment is appropriate for you? In the past, a dental bridge was your only choice. Now, dental implants provide patients with a more comfortable solution that can last a lifetime. Here’s a closer look at the difference between the two options.
What is a dental bridge?
As the name suggests, a dental bridge literally bridges the gap between two of your natural teeth. However, a dental bridge involves a lot more than filling an empty space in your mouth. For support, the replacement tooth is anchored to your adjacent teeth, which are ground down and fitted with crowns. This design can make brushing and flossing a challenge, so it’s important for those with dental bridges to be extra vigilant with oral hygiene. If properly cared for, the average life of a dental bridge is about 10 years.
What are dental implants?
With a dental implant, a titanium rod is placed in the bone where your missing tooth used to sit, and a crown is placed on top of the rod. Over time, the bone and titanium rod bond together for a result that is stronger and more permanent than a bridge. Because a dental implant isn’t attached to your adjacent teeth, there’s no change to your brushing and flossing routine. Aesthetically, dental implants are designed to match the shape and color of your existing teeth. Because they look, feel, and function like real teeth, no one will ever know the difference.
Which option is best for you?
While dental bridges have been used for decades to replace missing teeth, dental implants are often the preferred treatment option. However, not everyone is an ideal surgical candidate. Discussing the pros and cons of each solution with your dentist will lead you to the best plan of action for your unique case.
As a patient at Town Center Dentistry in Rancho Bernardo, you can rest easy knowing your mouth is in the capable hands of our dental specialists – literally. With over 30 years of experience in general, cosmetic, and reconstructive dentistry, each of our dentists is immensely talented in his craft and will recommend a tooth replacement option that will provide you with exceptional results. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation!