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Dental Bridges Vs Dental Implants

If a tooth or teeth fall out or are knocked out, they need to be replaced as soon as possible. While having a tooth or teeth missing can be rough on your self-confidence, it can also be a pretty major oral health concern. A missing tooth or teeth can do severe damage to your healthy teeth, gums and even jawbone. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure to have a replacement placed as soon as you can once a tooth falls out or is knocked out.

When you go in for a replacement, your dentist may suggest a few different options. Two of the most popular are dental implants and dental bridges.

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a dental appliance that is attached to the jawbone of a patient via a titanium screw that is used to hold an abutment for a false tooth. Dental implants are very secure and can be made to look and even feel extremely similar to a natural tooth.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a prosthetic that involves a pontic (false tooth or set of teeth) being placed to bridge the gap where a tooth or teeth are missing. This pontic is generally held in place with abutments that are placed on the healthy teeth on either side of the gap.

What Issues Do These Replacements Help to Resolve?

Whether your dentist and you decide a dental implant or bridge is the right choice, it’s extremely important to make sure that the gap where a tooth or teeth are missing is filled. This gap can do pretty severe damage if it is not filled in a timely fashion. Some of the issues that may occur when a gap is left between one or more teeth include:

  • Migration of the healthy teeth.
  • Tooth decay and/or root infection in places that are hard to reach once the teeth have migrated.
  • Gum disease.
  • Low self-confidence due to the gap in the smile.
  • Bone loss in the jawbone.

Because of these issues and more, a tooth replacement is absolutely necessary. Without having a tooth replacement placed, you leave yourself open to a variety of oral health issues that can cause more and more damage—leading to you needing to treat not only the gap, but all of the damage the gap has caused.

Which Replacement Option Is Right for Me?

While there are different choices for replacement, your dentist will likely try to place a dental implant first. This will allow you to maintain your natural, healthy teeth—whereas abutments would need to be placed to secure a dental bridge. If your jawbone is compromised, though, an implant may not be possible. The next option your dentist may suggest is a dental bridge. There are a few different factors that go into the decision of an implant or a bridge. Ultimately, it’s up to your dentist to suggest the best course of treatment. No matter which replacement option you go with, make sure to have the replacement placed as soon as possible.

Dr. Lois Lee and the team at Meadowdale Dental Clinic in Lynnwood, WA are highly skilled and experienced with cosmetic and restorative dental bridges. Contact their team today to find out more information on how to get started!

If you're looking for more information on dental bridges, here's some additional information on the typical expenses associated with dental bridges.