There are 2 options for permanently replacing a tooth or multiple teeth: dental implants or a dental bridge. There are pros and cons for each option. In general, dental implants are the gold standard for replacing teeth and should be the first option due to their successful track record. The dental bridge is an older, destructive treatment option that was the only available option prior to the advent of dental implants. It should only be considered if a dental implant is not possible.
What Is a Dental Bridge and What Are The Issues with them?
A dental bridge is a construction of connected crowns that sit on natural teeth to span the missing area. These healthy teeth have to be prepped or cut in order to hold the bridge. This requires the removal of enamel, causing them to become compromised. These teeth may become symptomatic over time and require a root canal. Even worse, when one of the supporting teeth fails, then the supporting tooth has to be removed, and the entire bridge fails. The average life of a dental bridge is less than 10 years. The patient is now in a larger predicament because, at this point, the only other options are to create a longer bridge, which destroys more teeth, or dental implants. However, dental implants no longer are a straightforward option because, during the life of the dental bridge, the area of the missing tooth or teeth undergoes a process of bone resorption or loss. Bone grafting procedures are required prior to implant placement, extending treatment time and costs.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants over a Dental Bridge?
In most situations, dental implants have a variety of advantages over a dental bridge.
Dental implants do not rely on surrounding teeth for support, so they are not damaged. Instead, they use the jawbone as a foundation, much like your natural teeth. During your implant placement, an oral surgeon embeds those dental implants into the jawbone, where they can provide a strong foundation.
Dental implants are more versatile. You can replace a single tooth or all your teeth in a permanent fashion with dental implants. A dental bridge requires healthy, natural teeth surrounding the missing area and is thus limited in its application.
Dental implants have longevity and are successful when placed properly in a healthy candidate. Sometimes, dental implants can fail and require removal. However, the issue stays limited to that one site, and the neighboring teeth are not affected like a dental bridge.
Take Advantage of the Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants provide various benefits over dental bridges regarding health, longevity, and versatility. However, every case is unique. If you are missing one, several, or all of your teeth, you can schedule a consultation with the team at Inland Empire Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons to discover your options.
Our surgeons will determine whether dental implants are the right solution for your needs. From there, we will develop a custom treatment plan and carry out your procedure with well-developed skills and the latest technology. Learn more about our dental implant procedures today.