Replacing a Missing Tooth: Dental Implant

1. Dental Implants have better longevity. Once a dental implant has been placed successfully and has completed healing it will integrate and fuse with your jaw bone and is very unlikely to ever fail. There are far less do-overs with successful dental implants as opposed to dental bridges. The problem with dental bridges is that you gradually lose your supporting jaw bone with age and the area underneath the dental bridge can become exposed to food and bacteria. As a result, most dental bridges have to be redone over time and will rarely last you forever. Also when dental bridges is redone often times they will require either additional root canal treatments or require the removal of existing supporting tooth which have failed to further extend the bridge onto other teeth thus causing additional trauma and damage to more teeth.

2. Dental Implants are the more conservative treatment. To place a dental implant your dentist will drill the implant into your jaw bone. While this may sound scary, it is actually quite safe and easy and has no negative consequence if done carefully to avoid vital tissues. Dental implants can pretty much be placed anywhere you have sufficient jaw bone so they are quite versatile and can pretty much replace any missing tooth. Dental bridges on the other hand will require the drilling of adjacent teeth. This does have negative consequences as it does undermine these teeth and may lead to pain or infection over time. Also dental bridges have certain limitations and can not replace any gap.

  • If you are missing your furthest located tooth you can’t replace it with a bridge as there is no tooth behind it to anchor the bridge onto.
  • If you are missing multiple teeth next to each other, the adjacent teeth may not be strong enough to support a long-span bridge and it may not be a viable option.
  • If your remaining teeth are weak with poor bone support and lots of root canals, a bridge is very likely to fail within the first few years.

3. It is easier to clean and maintain a dental implant. A dental implant essentially gives you the equivalent of a whole fake tooth which is easy to clean and maintain. A dental bridge simply closes the gap with a fake tooth supported on both sides by your own teeth so all bridges have a gap underneath them where the missing tooth was originally located. This gap remains highly susceptible to trapping food particles and can create problems such as bleeding or bad breath. Even a well made bridge may sit flush against your gums now but as you gradually lose bone over the years it may worsen and start to create a food trap.

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Replacing a Missing Tooth: Dental Bridge

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