Dental bridges and dental implants in Yellowknife are two types of dental restorations that both replace missing teeth. In addition to restoring lost dental function, they also achieve cosmetic dentistry goals by filling gaps in your smile, and prevent remaining natural teeth from shifting out of alignment and causing bite issues. Between them, they are the most common method of replacing teeth.
While bridges and implants can both accomplish the same things, they are very different tools, and implants have a much wider range of usefulness that bridges. We’ll take a look at the most important differences between bridges and dental implants near you.
What’s a dental bridge?
A dental bridge “bridges” the gap left behind when you lose teeth. Each end of the bridge is anchored to a natural tooth on one or both sides of the gap using crowns or other fasteners. The bridge holds replacement teeth in the gap, so anyone looking at you would see a full set of teeth without seeing any dental work. The teeth are supported entirely by the bridge, and not by your gums at all.
What’s a dental implant?
Dental implants are replacement teeth roots. They are titanium posts that are inserted into your jaw in the gap left behind by lost or extracted teeth. Once the post bonds completely to your jaw as natural tissue, your dentist will attach an abutment to the post. The abutment will connect the final restoration to that tooth root so that it will be permanently rooted into your jaw. What will replace that missing tooth or those missing teeth? That will depend on your particular circumstances.
If you’re missing just one tooth, the abutment may hold an artificial tooth in place. If you’re missing multiple adjacent teeth, your abutments may hold additional individual teeth or provide anchors for each end of a bridge.
How does the treatment process differ?
Being fit with a dental bridge is much faster and much less invasive than being provided dental implants. This is because a traditional dental bridge is not attached to your jaw, but is supported by your natural teeth via crowns. Your dentist will prepare the natural teeth at each end of the gap in your jaw to receive crowns. Those crowns will be prepared at a dental laboratory with replacement teeth in between. Once they’ve been prepared and confirmed to fit your teeth and mouth appropriately, the crowns will be placed over your teeth and cemented into place.
The process for receiving dental implants at a dentist near you is much more involved and lengthy. After a careful assessment of your jaw, your dentist will develop a treatment plan including precisely locating where implants will be rooted into your jaw. After surgery to place those implants, you’ll be given a period of several months to recover and for those implants to bond to your jaw bone. Then, and abutment will be replaced, and your permanent restoration will be designed and ultimately placed in your mouth.
What are the long term differences?
Dental bridges are generally faster and less expensive than dental implants near you. Those two apparent advantages, though come with a significant drawback — lifespan — and a couple more downsides. Dental bridges can be expected to last for approximately a decade before having to be replaced. Neither do they protect your jaw from deterioration. The need to alter natural teeth to accept crowns can also leave them vulnerable to decay.
On the other hand, dental implants from a dentist in Yellowknife are a lifetime solution for your tooth loss. Because they don’t rely on any natural teeth, they require no alterations to them and impose any pressure or strain on them. Finally, the placement of your implants will trigger a process called osseointegration that bonds the post to your jaw as if it were natural tissue and even trigger the development of new and healthy bone tissue.
There was a time when people who suffered from tooth loss had two options: dentures or gaps in your smile. You have many, many more options than that, including dental bridges and dental implants near you. Even those options offer a range of alternatives. To discuss the best option for you, contact a dentist in Yellowknife for advice.