While you should always trust your dentist’s professional opinion when it comes to choosing between implants or bridgework, you also should research both options and come to your own conclusions. This guide will provide you with more information on how to select either implants or a bridge after a tooth loss.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are an in-depth, long-term solution for tooth loss. Instead of only dealing with the aesthetics, an implant involves replacing the root of the missing tooth all the way down to the jawbone.
Afterward, a crown is placed over the implant and functions as a normal tooth would. However, you have to have an adequate amount of healthy jawbone beneath the gum’s surface for an implant to be effective. Otherwise, bone graft surgery may be required ahead of time.
What Is a Bridge?
Bridgework is a less invasive solution for tooth loss. The two teeth on the either side of the empty socket are shaved down in preparation for a fixed bridge. Three connected crowns make up the bridge, which covers the space left by the missing tooth and the teeth on either side. This holds the empty crown in place and gives the appearance of a restored smile.
Oral Health Concerns Regarding Bridges
Bridgework is no doubt the cheaper option upfront because no surgery is involved. However, bridges also present certain oral health issues that may concern you. If the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth are healthy, shaving down the enamel and reshaping each to become fitted with a crown can lead to the compromise of the nerves. This could require the need for a root canal to eliminate possible infection.
However, bridgework is normally completed much more quickly than an implant procedure, providing you with the desired results in a shorter time frame.
Long-Term Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a more extensive, costly pursuit. Healing time is necessary after the placement of the implant and before the installation of the crown.
In comparison to bridgework, dental implants do not put adjacent teeth at risk of infection. It is a much more stable, permanent solution that will inhibit jawbone loss.
Weighing the Cost versus Benefit
If you look only at the immediate costs, bridgework is the right choice. But in the future, your bridge may need to be redone, requiring you to have the procedure done all over again.
If you take care of dental implants, the same rules do not apply. Your implant could last you your whole life with no need for any further procedures.
Consider all angles before choosing between dental implants or bridgework, and be sure to ask your dentist’s professional opinion before deciding.