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Dental Bridges Vs Implants

Bridge diagram image at Optimum Oral Surgery Group Tooth loss happens for many reasons. You can lose teeth due to gum disease, facial trauma, or severe tooth decay. Even losing a single tooth can have a significant impact on your entire quality of life. Following the loss of a tooth, it is important to have it replaced as quickly as possible. Replacing a single tooth can be done in one of two ways, with a bridge or with a dental implant. At Optimum Oral Surgery Group, we can help you to go over your options and determine the best treatment for you.

The Effects of Losing a Tooth

Losing a tooth impacts your life in major ways. Effects of tooth loss include
•  Deterioration in the quality of your smile.
•  Difficulty biting and chewing. This can impact digestion and nutrition as well.
•  Developing a lisp.
•  Increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
•  Increased risk of tooth damage to adjacent teeth.
•  Loss of bone mass in your jaw. This causes the bone to weaken and change shape.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a traditional treatment for replacing a single tooth. It can, however, be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth. The most common type of dental bridge is what is called a fixed bridge. This bridge is made up of a pontic tooth, which is the replacement tooth that fills in the empty space, and two dental crowns. The crowns sit on each side of the pontic tooth. Their job is to anchor the restoration in place. They do this by sitting over the adjacent healthy teeth, which are reduced in size to ensure proper fit as well as comfort.

Pros and Cons of Bridges

Pros of Bridges include
•  The Pontic tooth fills in the empty space in your smile.
•  Typically made from ceramic, they blend in with the color of your natural teeth.
•  You can eat and speak normally again.
•  Your teeth are held in proper alignment.
•  Your oral health improves.
•  Digestion and nutrition improve.

Cons of bridges include
•  The teeth used to hold your bridge in place, called abutment teeth, need to be prepared. This means that a portion of the enamel needs to be removed from each one.
•  Because the bridge is supported by natural teeth, the restoration can become uncomfortable.
•  Bridges do not stop bone loss in the jaw. Your bone continues to weaken over time, which eventually leads to the need for the restoration to be replaced.

Implants for Tooth Replacement

Dental implants are a more modern solution to missing teeth. This solution is unlike any other treatment before it. Implants rely on titanium posts, which are surgically placed directly into your jawbone. The bone then fuses to the posts, integrating them into the jaw, turning them into replacement roots that are then able to support your dental restorations and hold them securely in place in your mouth. Implants are a versatile treatment that can be used in some different situations, replacing any number of teeth, including single missing teeth.

Pros and Cons of Implants

Dental implants provide several benefits, including
•  In addition to looking just like your natural teeth, they feel and function completely normal as well.
•  Your replacement tooth is supported by the implant, making the restoration much more comfortable.
•  We do not need to alter adjacent teeth in any way.
•  The implant post provides stimulation for your jawbone, which helps to stop and prevent bone loss in your jaw.

Cons of dental implants include
•  Surgery is needed for implant placement.
•  Because they require surgery, there is a recovery period involved.
•  If you do not have enough bone mass in your jaw, you may require a bone graft first.
•  Implants can be more expensive. Not all insurance providers provide coverage for implants as well, so you will need to contact your provider if cost is a concern.

If you have suffered tooth loss, it is important to have them replaced right away. Call Optimum Oral Surgery Group at (856) 778-8686 today to learn more about your options and to find out which is best for you.

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