When it comes to restoring missing teeth with a fixed dental prosthesis, dental implants and dental bridges are leading choices. Which method of tooth restoration is right for you? What are the benefits and disadvantages of each procedure? The team at Tennessee Implant and Oral Surgery wants to keep you informed as you make decisions about your oral health, so here are a few things to keep in mind about the pros and cons of dental implants and bridges:
The Pros & Cons Of Dental Implants
Dental implants consist of two parts. The implant itself is made of titanium and shaped like a screw, and it’s surgically implanted into your gums and jaw bone. Then, after it heals and bonds with the jaw, it can be completed with an implant-supported restoration, such as a dental crown.
- Long lifespan – Dental implants usually last 30+ years, so most patients are able to keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
- Completely natural look and feel – The unique two-part design of an implant means it will look, feel and function just like a natural tooth in every way.
- Requires no special care – All you have to do is brush and floss regularly and see your dentist for regular six-month cleanings and oral exams. That’s it!
- Requires invasive surgery – Some patients may not like the idea of having surgery on their gums and jaw bone, and the recovery process does involve some discomfort.
- Long treatment time – It can take 3-6 months or longer to place a single-tooth dental implant, making it a relatively lengthy process.
- Expensive – Dental implants are cost-effective in the long term, but typically have the highest upfront cost of any method of smile restoration.
The Pros And Cons Of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges use two crowns that are attached to healthy “abutment” teeth on either side of your missing tooth. These crowns suspend a false tooth (pontic) which replaces your missing tooth and “bridges” the gap where it used to be. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of dental bridges.
- No invasive surgery needed – While some of your enamel must be removed, there is no need for any invasive surgery.
- Fast results – Bridges can be placed in just a few weeks, in most cases, making them much faster than implants.
- Comfortable, natural appearance – While not as natural as implants, dental bridges are much more comfortable and natural than partial dentures.
- Shorter lifespan – Bridges usually last between 5-15 years, which is significantly shorter than implants.
- Harder to clean – You’ll need to use special dental tools and techniques to clean your bridge.
- Requires removal of healthy enamel – Two of your healthy teeth will need to be permanently trimmed to have a bridge placed, so this is something to keep in mind when choosing between implants and bridges.
Not Sure What’s Right For You? Find Out At Tennessee Implant And Oral Surgery!
Dr. Russell Kirk of Tennessee Implant and Oral Surgery is a highly-experienced oral surgeon, and has years of experience in restorative dentistry. To see if a bridge or implant is right for you, schedule an appointment at our office now. You can give us a call at (615) 453-7800 to get started, or stop by our office at 1409 W Baddour Parkway, Suite F, Lebanon, TN 37087.