While tooth loss is widespread, it can hurt your oral and overall well-being. For instance, missing or severely damaged teeth can cause difficulty chewing, which can cause you to miss out on some essential nutrients. Additionally, missing teeth make normal functions such as brushing and flossing difficult, increasing your risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.
The remaining healthy teeth are also likely to shift out of position, causing misalignments. Similarly, missing teeth can impact your mental health negatively. For instance, you can feel embarrassed or insecure about smiling, significantly affecting your self-esteem. Low self-esteem can affect your career and social life or even cause mental problems like stress and depression.
When you lose a tooth, it’s critical to get a proper replacement. Dental implants and bridges are among the most common replacement options available. Let’s have a deeper look at dental implants and bridges to help you determine which option may be the best for you.
Dental Implants – Dental implants consist of titanium posts or screws implanted into the jawbone of the missing teeth through surgery. Once the implant fuses with the underlying jawbone, a pontic or dental crown is placed on top for further strength and protection.
Dental bridges – A dental bridge is also called a fixed partial denture. It consists of one or more false teeth and dental crowns. The most common type of bridge consists of two crowns adhered to two healthy teeth next to the missing tooth or teeth.
While both implants and bridges are safe and effective, each treatment comes with pros and cons. Use these factors to help you decide which option is right for you:
A dental implant is through surgical intervention. If you’re afraid of surgery, you may want to consider dental bridges. With bridges, the procedure is less invasive. The dentist only needs to trim down the teeth’ enamel, which allows the crowns to fit perfectly.
Dental implant treatment requires surgery which will mean a longer healing time. The implant also requires about 3-6 months to heal, after which a dental crown is placed on top. With bridges, you only need about two appointments, making it faster.
Generally, the length of time your implant or bridge will last depends on how well you care for it. A bridge typically lasts for 10-20 years or more with proper care. When well cared for, an implant can last for a lifetime. You might only need to have your crown replaced every 10-15 years. Dental implants win, hands down!
While implants and bridges replace missing teeth, not everyone can qualify for the treatment. For instance, since implants require surgical intervention, the eligibility requirements are slightly higher. Ideal patients must have healthy gums and jawbone, be non-smokers, have good overall health, and practice excellent dental hygiene.
Since an implant is implanted into the jawbone just like your natural teeth, it offers the most appealing results. After the treatment, it’s typically impossible for one to tell you’ve had any dental work. Both implants and bridges match the color of the rest of your natural teeth.
When it comes to the cost, the initial cost of placing a bridge is cheaper than dental implants. On average, it costs about $500 to $2,300. Since the implant treatment is more complex, the initial cost is higher, about $1,500 to $6,000. Dental implants might be cost-effective since they can last a lifetime and might not require replacements in the long run. A bridge may require replacements every 10 to 20 years.
A bridge is likely a better option if you’ve lost more than one consecutive tooth. A single bridge can replace more than one missing tooth. Each implant has to be attached individually, making the treatment expensive, painful, and complex.
Based on the factors we’ve discussed, you should be able to choose the treatment option that best suits your needs. Still, it’s essential to get professional advice from your dentist. If you have difficulty choosing the right treatment option, contact Andover Cosmetic Dental Group.
Our dentists in Andover, MA also welcome patients from the below nearby areas: