Many patients visit our office looking to learn more about their options for replacing missing teeth. If you are missing a full arch of teeth, we will likely recommend dentures or partials. Otherwise, single or multiple missing teeth can be restored with either dental implants or dental bridges.
Because we often recommend these two restorations to our patients, we want to help you better understand the differences between these two treatment options. Below is a breakdown of the similarities and differences between dental implants and dental bridges.
Dental Implants in Laurel, MD
Dr. Clark often recommends dental implants because of their high patient satisfaction rating. Dental implants provide patients with various benefits that they simply wouldn’t get with other tooth restoration options. Because dental implants involve the surgical fusion of a titanium post into your jawbone, your dental implant will have tooth-root functionality once it heals.
This means you won’t have to worry about dietary restrictions or adding extra steps to your oral hygiene routine to maintain the dental implant. You get back 100% of your bite function with dental implants. Since the implant spurs jawbone regeneration, the fit stays and doesn’t need to be tweaked in the future. You also don’t get the other harmful effects that come with bone loss.
Even though dental implants have many benefits, it’s important to remember that this treatment option requires a surgical procedure. Your dental health will need to be in otherwise good standing to ensure that your implant will heal properly. It’s also important to note that dental implants tend to be the more expensive option for tooth replacement. However, many patients find the cost worth it because of the longevity this tooth restoration option offers compared to others.
Dental implants can also be used to support dentures and partials to allow a more secure and functional fit.
Dental Bridges in Laurel, MD
Dental bridges are a non-surgical tooth restoration option for patients seeking a minimally invasive approach to restorative dentistry. Because dental bridges rely on your surrounding teeth to support a prosthetic tooth, you do not need to worry about a surgical procedure with this treatment option.
Along with being minimally invasive, it is also the more affordable approach to tooth restoration. However, patients considering dental bridges need to be mindful of the special care that will be required to maintain this oral appliance. Because all of the hardware is on your dental structures’ exterior, dental bridges have some dietary restrictions to ensure that excessively chewy or crunchy foods do not damage your tooth restoration.
Using natural teeth as anchors also places more stress on these teeth. They’re more susceptible to tooth decay, and they wear down faster than the rest of your natural teeth. Often, we use dental crowns to help fortify these natural teeth. However, dental crowns require shaving down your teeth so that the dental crowns can be fitted properly.
Because the tooth root isn’t replaced, your jawbone continues to deteriorate while you have your bridge. The fit of it will change as the jawbone changes. You’ll most likely have to get your restoration readjusted or replaced at least once in the future so that it’s still functional for you.
Additionally, Dr. Clark will need to instruct you on how to care for the dental bridge while brushing and flossing. Your typical oral hygiene routine will need to be altered to ensure that you are thoroughly cleaning beneath and around the dental bridge.
Schedule An Appointment
If you’ve suffered from tooth loss, you have several options for restoring your smile. At Laurel Smiles, we do our best to make tooth replacement as easy as possible. Our goal is to help you achieve your dream smile while improving your overall dental health. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Clark today, and he will review your tooth replacement options. We look forward to seeing you soon.