Top 3 Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dental Bridges
Today’s teeth replacement methods range from dental implants to removable prostheses, such as dentures and bridges. In Warren NJ, we are the experts in placing dental implants. Read on to learn why dental implants are the superior option for most patients. This in-depth comparison of dental implants and bridges will help guide you as you decide the best fit for your teeth replacement needs and goals.
What’s a dental implant?
A dental implant consists of a titanium root replacement screw that we place in your jawbone. Once healed, your restorative dentist will attach an abutment to the screw which holds the artificial tooth (a restoration crown) in place. Losing a tooth causes your jawbone to begin to deteriorate immediately, but when we place a dental implant, which is made of titanium, in your jaw, it fuses with your jawbone, providing a strong and solid attachment and foundation for natural chewing to resume. Much like a muscle that needs exercise to remain healthy, your jaw requires forces to prevent atrophy and to keep the bone healthy. In a nutshell, the implant tooth not only provides the natural function of chewing but also, in doing so, preserves bone structure.
What’s a dental bridge?
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap that is created by a missing tooth. After shaving down and preparing the teeth surrounding the gap, your restorative dentist cements a bridge which then holds an artificial tooth. The bridge fills the gap, holding the replacement tooth and restoring your smile. What a bridge does not do is support or preserve your jawbone. When there are no replacement roots mimicking a natural tooth, atrophy sets in and jaw health deteriorates.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Perhaps the greatest benefit of dental implants is the way in which they promote jawbone and gum health. When you lose a tooth, your jawbone begins to atrophy right away. We place an implant in your jawbone which serves as the new tooth’s roots, and once the healing period is complete and the post has fully fused with the bone, your restorative dentist will place your restoration which allows you to talk, eat, and chew naturally. The chewing-induced stimulation gives your jaw the strength and vitality it needs to remain healthy and robust. Since a bridge is not made up of root-like components but rests on the adjacent teeth for support, gum recession and bone loss can result. Rather than preserving bone and promoting jaw health, bridges tend to put a strain on the neighboring teeth which will eventually result in their deterioration and often the need for extraction.
Strong and secure, the artificial roots of implants fuse with your jawbone, establishing a permanent, solid bond. The durability that results allows our patients to eat whatever they like without worrying about slippage or embarrassing moments. Bridges, on the other hand, are considered temporary prosthetics that can decay and cause problems to the teeth that support them. Since bridges are removable, the potential for falling out while you’re talking or laughing is a common and legitimate concern.
Our dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. In fact, our implant teeth are so successful that they should last as long as your natural teeth. The longevity of implants makes them the most affordable option long-term. On the other hand, the lifespan of bridges is much shorter, averaging about 8 years and requiring specialized care.
Bridges are a common teeth replacement method, but the professional dental community has found dental implants to be the best long-term option in dentistry. If you’ve lost teeth, make an appointment to come into our office and discuss your options. We schedule ample time to gather your dental history, evaluate your jaw, and discover with you your oral hopes and dreams.
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