Is a missing tooth ruining your smile?
You’re not alone. An estimated 178 million Americans have at least one missing tooth. If you still have some teeth, count yourself lucky, about 40 million Americans have lost all their teeth.
Regardless of how many teeth you still have, are you looking to make your smile whole again? The good news is that you have some great options! Check out these pros and cons of dental implants vs bridges to help narrow down your choices.
As with any dental procedure, there are a few pros and cons of dental implants. On the positive side, dental implants are the solution that is most like natural teeth. They typically don’t have to be replaced and require no special care other than your normal brushing and flossing routine. You can eat hard and sticky foods just as if you had a full mouth of natural teeth.
On top of that, the implants are mounted on a titanium post that is surgically inserted in your jaw. This means you don’t get the sagging facial structure that can happen if your jawbone doesn’t have the necessary support from your teeth. This is most often seen in folks that require a full set of dentures. Plus, because implants are stand-alone, there isn’t any strain being put on your other teeth as can happen with bridges that need to be anchored.
Unfortunately, implants are a somewhat lengthy procedure. Because you have to wait for the bone to heal after surgery (and bones heal slowly) you’ll typically make a number of visits over several months before the procedure is complete. Because they are more involved, the upfront costs of implants are higher. However, they can be cheaper over time because they don’t have to be replaced — as long as you choose a reputable dentist such as Dr. Suzanne Caudry to perform the procedure.
On the flip side, getting a dental bridge vs an implant is a much simpler procedure. It doesn’t take as long and it is much less expensive upfront. However, it doesn’t look quite as natural. You’ll have to take a bit more care in what you eat, though cleaning bridges is still fairly simple.
The bummer about dental bridges is the maintenance. They tend to only last a few years, perhaps 5-7 years, so (depending on your age) you’ll have to have them replaced quite a few times.
Bridges also need to be anchored to surrounding teeth. This means that the dentist has to grind down perfectly healthy teeth to secure the bridge in your mouth. This isn’t ideal if you’re trying to keep the rest of your teeth healthy and strong.
You Decide: The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants vs Bridges
We hope this quick rundown of the pros and cons of dental implants vs bridges has helped you decide which procedure would be best for you. If you’re still unsure, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for their professional opinion.
For more interesting tips and advice, check out more of our blog!