When it comes to replacing a single missing tooth, you’ve got options. While a dental bridge is an affordable option to bridge the gap between two teeth, a dental implant provides a more permanent and less invasive method of replacing a single lost tooth. Today on the blog your Hyde Park implant dentists from University Dental Professionals are discussing the difference between these two tooth replacement procedures, which may help you decide which option is right for you.
First, let us take a closer look at both options.
A dental bridge consists of two dental crowns fused to either side of the pontic or artificial tooth. This single unit piece can replace one or more missing teeth, as long as you have a tooth on either side of the space. The dental crowns fit over your existing teeth that reside on either side of the missing tooth, while the artificial tooth is in the middle to fill the gap.
Pros of a Dental Bridge
A bridge is permanent, meaning it does not need to be removed for cleaning or eating. Plus, with a dental bridge you can essentially eat what you want without fear of it slipping out of place. Dental bridges are quite affordable on the front end, although they tend to need replacing about once every decade or so. The final results of a dental bridge are natural looking, and functional.
Cons of a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge has to be attached to two adjacent teeth on either side of the space, which means that your two healthy teeth will need to be crowned. Performing treatment on teeth that are otherwise healthy means the process is a bit more invasive and could compromise your healthy teeth at some point down the road.
While a dental bridge appears affordable initially, replacing it a time or two throughout your lifetime can add up to a more significant investment.
A dental bridge, however, does not stimulate the jawbone since there is no artificial root. Eventually, the jawbone and gums will shrink away under the dental bridge, which may increase the need for a new one for aesthetic purposes.
A dental implant consists of three components: a titanium post, an abutment, and a dental crown. The post is surgically placed into your jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. Attached to the post is the abutment, which is basically a connector piece for the crown to attach.
Pros of Dental Implants
A dental implant does not require the need for filing down adjacent teeth to make room for crowns, like with a bridge.
A dental implant can last a lifetime since the post is made of titanium. Proper care and oral hygiene practices can prolong your dental implant.
While a dental implant may cost more initially than a dental bridge, the implant should not ever need replacing.
Plus, dental implants provide stimulation to the jawbone, which prevents the gum and bone from shrinking. No other tooth replacement option has this capability.
Cons of Dental Implants
Dental implants require a substantial amount of jawbone to hold the implant. For patients that have lived years with missing teeth, a dental implant may or may not be an option, or may require additional treatments such as a sinus lift or bone graft prior to placing the implant.
Cost tends to be a deciding factor for many patients. While dental implants do cost more than a dental bridge, the long-term investment is worth it since the implant is made to last a lifetime.
Dental Implants in Chicago
If you are interested in replacing your missing tooth, consider having a consultation with Hyde Park dental implant specialists at University Dental Professionals. We will assess your dental health, and help determine the best option for you. We also will gladly discuss the pros and cons of each procedure to make you aware of your options.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact our office by calling (773) 684-5702 to schedule a consultation.
University Dental Professionals is proud to care for patients in the Hyde Park area of Chicago.