Missing teeth can be one of the most devastating issues faced by a dental patient. Gaps in a smile are embarrassing, and the loss of a tooth can lead to further degradation of surrounding tissue and more tooth loss if not treated. Lost teeth also make it harder to chew, talk, and otherwise enjoy life to its fullest.
If you are missing one or more teeth, you have several options for restoration. Two of the cosmetic solutions we commonly offer at Sanchez Dental are dental implants and bridges.
Difference Between Implants and Bridges
Both implants and bridges are prosthetic devices that take the place of your natural teeth. Implants, as the name suggests, are implanted into your gum tissue and anchored to the jaw bone. Once healed, they are able to function just like your regular teeth.
Bridges sit on the surface of your gums and are anchored in place by the surrounding teeth. A common bridge involves three teeth; crowns are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap, holding up a false tooth in the center.
Which is Better?
Implants and bridges can both be very effective for different uses. Implants are best when they replace a single tooth. Bridges are more effective for filling gaps of several missing teeth. Additionally, an implant requires healthy gum tissue and bone; if you have bone density loss, a bridge can be a better choice. Bridges tend to be more affordable, but implants feel more natural and can last longer.
It’s also important to remember that implants and bridges can work together. In some cases of reconstructive dentistry, an implant is used to anchor a bridge in place. This is very effective in cases where there are no good candidates among your natural teeth.
Your dentist can help you decide which option is best for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about dental implants, bridges, and other cosmetic treatments available at Sanchez Dental.