Bridges, Dentures, or Implants: Which is best for me?

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Bridges, Dentures, or Implants: Which is best for me?

When it comes to replacing a missing tooth or teeth, you’ve got options. Finding the one that’s right for you can be challenging, but we want to make your decision a little easier. Here, we’ll provide some basic information about dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants to help you make an informed decision.

Replacing your missing tooth doesn’t just solve a cosmetic dental problem, but oral health problems as well. When a missing tooth isn’t replaced, you may likely experience one or more of these issues:

  • Gum disease
  • Crooked teeth
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth decay
  • TMJ disorder

If you’ve already begun experiencing symptoms of these oral health issues, talk to your dentist today. He or she can reverse or repair any damage and help you choose the best tooth replacement option.

Dental Bridges

Traditional dental bridges are comprised of two dental crowns that support an artificial tooth or teeth in the middle. These crowns are placed on the two teeth on each side of the gap and the artificial tooth is suspended in the middle. There are other types of dental bridges, but the traditional dental bridge is the most common.

Pros and cons of dental bridges

Aside from restoring function and appearance, dental bridges also provide these benefits:

  • Short recovery/adjustment period
  • Comfort
  • Low maintenance
  • Permanency

Some disadvantages of dental bridges include:

  • Alteration of healthy abutment teeth
  • Risk of jawbone deterioration (from tooth loss)
  • Increased risk of sensitivity, decay, or infection of crowned teeth

We encourage you to consider these disadvantages but to also remember that your dentist will do everything she can to prevent these issues. If she believes you are not a good candidate for dental bridges because of the risks, another option will be recommended.

Dentures

For patients who are missing all or most of their teeth, removable partial or complete dentures are an aesthetically pleasing, effective solution. Your dentist may recommend dentures if you are ineligible for bridges or implants because of inadequate gum health or jawbone density.

Pros and cons of dentures

The greatest advantages of removable dentures are their affordability and easy maintenance.

Patients with dentures mostly complain about their dentures becoming loose, which can cause movement while eating and talking, unwanted clicking noises, and soreness. These problems usually arise because of jawbone deterioration and/or shifting teeth, in the case of a partial. Your dentist can make replacement full or partial dentures or reline your current dentures to stabilize your prosthetic.  

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a screw-like, titanium post that is placed into the jawbone to support a dental crown, bridge, or denture. The titanium post acts like a natural tooth root by joining with and supporting your jawbone. A healthy jawbone supports cheeks and lips, for a youthful look; implants also deter bone atrophy.

Pros and cons of dental implants

In addition, dental implants typically last a lifetime—something that can’t be said about traditional bridges, partials, and full dentures.

Unfortunately, there are risks and disadvantages that come with dental implants. These include:

  • A long treatment process
  • Higher cost
  • Potential for needing a bone graft prior to implant placement
  • Implant failure (extremely rare)

While these disadvantages are something to consider, most dentists – and implant patients — believe the benefits are more than worth it. Once treatment is complete, many people are able to enjoy their fully restored smile without fear of slipping dentures while eating in public. They smile, speak, and chew food knowing that their teeth are secure, and that makes them smile!

Talk to your dentist today to learn if dental implants are the best solution for your smile.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

An initial consultation with a dentist is the best way to discover which tooth replacement option is right for you.

Let us help you maintain good oral hygiene and improve your smile! Call 404-328-7177 to meet with our dentist.

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