Monday, December 21, 2015

Dental Implants Vs. Dental Bridges: Which Is Right For You?

More than 50 percent of U.S. adults are missing at least one tooth. For those who want a more permanent solution than dentures, bridges and implants are attractive replacement options. Here are just a few of the reasons patients prefer them.

Dental Implants

Screwed directly into the jawbone by a cosmetic dentist, implants are titanium posts that act as artificial tooth roots. A prosthetic tooth or crown can then be attached to the implant for a comfortable, secure fit. Implants, made to last for the life of the patient, are a durable, nearly worry-free replacement option. With a completely natural look and feel, most folks never know the wearer even has them. Implants also help prevent bone loss and will not affect neighboring teeth, which cannot be said about bridges.

Dental Bridges

When a patient is missing a tooth in between two healthy teeth, his/her cosmetic dentist might recommend a dental bridge. The device is essentially a frame that is cemented to the natural teeth and has an artificial tooth in the middle to replace the missing one. Often more affordable than dental implants, bridges help patients chew and speak normally. But because neighboring teeth must anchor the device in place, they must be filed or ground down a bit for a secure fit.

Which Is Better?

Although both have their pros and cons, implants are probably the safer option. This is due to the fact that they do not require any work to be done on adjacent teeth. It is also important to note that adding a bridge makes it more difficult to clean the affected area, which increases the risk of tooth decay. The lifespan of a dental bridge may also be a bit shorter than that of a dental implant.

Patients should consult their cosmetic dentist for more information about dental implants and bridges.