If you need to replace a broke or missing tooth, a dental implant is a common recommendation. A dental crown is another option to improve your smile if you have a tooth extracted. Which option will work best for your situation? Here is some information related to the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Why Dental Implants?
A dental implant is the closest thing to a traditional tooth. When a tooth is extracted, it will leave a large hole in your smile. If you do not replace the tooth, it can shift your bite and alter your smile. It can also cause problems with your bite as you are unable to chew on the area where the tooth is missing.
Dental implants help to protect the other teeth. Your natural teeth need a replacement tooth to prevent additional strain on the other teeth. A dental implant can be used to replace multiple teeth in the mouth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
The replacement process will entail x-rays to determine if the jaw bone is strong enough to support a dental implant. A titanium screw is surgically inserted into the jaw bone. When the bone and the titanium screw fuse together, a replacement tooth is made and is attached to the titanium screw. A dental implant is a permanent replacement. You will need to care for the tooth as you would for your natural teeth as it needs regular brushing and flossing to protect the gums.
Why Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge works differently as it is used to replace multiple teeth. If you have a tooth extracted, and the teeth next to the missing tooth are healthy, they can be used to support a bridge. A bridge will essentially become a crown for the other two teeth and has a porcelain crown attached in between to provide support for the missing tooth.
Dental bridges and crowns need maintenance unlike the dental implant, which can last a lifetime. Most dental bridges and crowns will need replacement after 10-15 years. Daily brushing and flossing under the bridge is vital to prevent gum disease.
How Do Dental Bridges Work?
When you opt for a dental bridge, you will not need to undergo oral surgery as you do with a dental implant. The dentist will numb the area and will prepare the teeth to support the dental bridge. It normally requires 2-3 visits before your bridge is complete and cemented. It is easier and quicker for patients to receive a dental bridge as a dental implant can take several months if you need bone grafts.