Dental bridges are a long-established method for filling in gaps in your smile, and many patients might think that they are their only option for replacing missing teeth. Fortunately, dental technology has advanced significantly over the past 30 years and more modern restorative dental treatments are available.
Dental implants provide full functionality and are a stronger, permanent way to replace missing teeth. They have several advantages over dental bridges in many cases, but the treatment that’s best for you depends on your specific case.
West Ashley Family Dentistry is a Charleston, SC restorative and cosmetic dental practice committed to the health of your smile. Learn more about dental implants and dental bridges to see which option might be best for you.
Both Have Their Benefits
Dental bridges require extensive tooth preparation, but for some patients, bridges are the best choice. Patients with jaw bone deterioration may benefit from bridges since an implant requires a stable foundation. If the teeth surrounding the gap need large fillings or may need crowns in the future, a dental bridge may be a good option to both fill the gap and protect those teeth.
On the other hand, dental implants only affect the immediate area where the tooth was lost, and the neighboring teeth are left alone. The implant stands alone in the mouth and is a relatively straightforward procedure. The result is a fully functional smile with a permanent, stable tooth.
Your Oral Care Routine
Dental implants are easier to maintain. A dental bridge is cemented in the mouth and is supported by adjacent teeth connected by crowns. This design creates challenges when brushing and flossing. It is important to thread the floss under the false tooth to keep oral bacteria from settling in to the gums.
Dental implants, however, do not require additional care beyond your established oral hygiene regimen. This treatment replaces teeth individually, so patients are able to floss between their natural teeth and the implant and brush without any additional obstacles. Oral care is much easier and more effective with dental implants.
When it comes to longevity and durability, dental implants score well above dental bridges. The metal post that is embedded into the jawbone is made of titanium, which naturally fuses to the jawbone. Once this integration occurs, the implant becomes a permanent part of your smile and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Conversely, dental bridges last about 10 years before the entire bridge will need to be replaced. Since parts of the natural teeth remain beneath the bridge, normal wear may put these teeth at risk of decay and gum disease.
Dental Implant Consultation in Charleston, SC
You should consult with your dentist to determine the best treatment for you. West Ashley Family Dentistry is your partner to a healthy, functional smile, and we will work with you to develop a treatment plan that takes your unique needs into account. Schedule a consultation with us online or call our team at (843) 371-5480 to learn more.