Dental bridges and dental implants are fixed tooth replacements. They are both used to replace one or more missing teeth. Our dentists in Lethbridge will help you choose the right treatment option for your specific oral health needs.
What are dental bridges?
The aptly named dental bridge is a fixed dental appliance that literally "bridges" the gap missing teeth have left. A bridge can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Since they are permanently attached to either side of the gap, unlike dentures, only a dentist can safely remove them. They are also referred to as permanent partial dentures.
How to care for your dental bridges
Once the dentist has installed your dental bridge, you can treat it in the same way you'd treat your natural teeth. If you maintain it properly by regularly brushing and flossing, your bridge should last for many years. Also remember to see your dentist on a regular basis.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Titanium is a type of metal that has the ability to form bonds with natural bone, making it a secure and stable foundation for an artificial tooth. A dental crown (cap) is then placed on top of the implant to serve as the artificial tooth replacement.
When used together, the dental crown and implant have a very similar appearance and feel to a natural tooth.
How to care for your dental implants
Like with bridges, you should take care of your dental implants just like your natural teeth. This includes a strong brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist.
How do I know which option is right for me?
Dental implants and dental bridges both have their advantages, and the best option for any given person will depend on that person's oral health needs as well as his or her financial situation.
The placement of dental implants is significantly more invasive than the placement of dental bridges. However, dental implants can often appear and feel more natural than dental bridges.
In addition, for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you must have a sufficient volume of jaw bone. If you don't have enough bone in your jaw, you may still be able to get an implant, but you would need to undergo a bone grafting procedure first to ensure that the implant could be supported. As a result, the implant process would take longer and be somewhat more invasive.
At the end of the day, the only way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult with your dentist.