Bridge Vs Implants

Teeth

If you have been left with one or more teeth missing in your mouth, you may find yourself looking for treatment options to fill the space in your smile line. Two of the most popular treatments for filling a space in the mouth are bridges and implants. Continue reading for more information about both options so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.

 

Bridges

One of the services offered by most dental professionals is the option of a bridge to replace a missing tooth. A bridge is a three-piece cap that fills the space of the missing tooth by using the two teeth on either side of the gap as anchors. They are a highly favored treatment method, as it is a fixed (non-removable) option, looks natural, and are a little more cost-effective than the other options. The only drawback to placing a bridge in the mouth is that there will need to be damage done to the surrounding teeth. In some cases, this is a deterrent. There are a series of steps involved in the process of making a bridge:

 

  1. An impression is taken of the area in which the bridge will be placed. A resin material is placed into the reservoir where the missing tooth is. This material hardens into what will be the “temporary bridge”.
  2. The dentist will shave down the two teeth that will be used as anchors into smaller versions of themselves (this will allow the caps to be placed over the teeth)
  3. A final impression is taken of the teeth. This impression is wrapped up and sent out to a lab, where the “permanent bridge” is made.
  4. The temporary bridge is cemented onto the teeth. The patient is asked to take it easy with chewing and flossing in that region until they return in about 2 weeks for their permanent bridge.
  5. 2 weeks later, the permanent bridge is cemented. This permanent bridge is sturdy, durable, and looks exactly like real teeth. It is as though there was never a gap in the teeth.

 

Implants

An implant is a metal post that is drilled into the bone to ensure what is usually a lifetime guarantee, given that the patient does not experience bone loss in their lifetime. A “crown”, or cap that looks very much like a natural tooth, is placed on top of the metal post. There is usually a 3 month healing period needed before the permanent crown is placed onto the implant, though most patients are given a temporary crown to fill the space while they heal, so there is usually no worries about having a gap remain in the teeth. While dentists usually favor this option for replacing a missing tooth, there are two major things that usually deter people from choosing them. One is price; the average implant costs around $3,000-$4,000, and they are usually not covered by insurance, as they are considered to serve more of an aesthetic purpose overall. The other issue with implants is that in order to have one placed, patients must be examined by an oral surgeon to determine if they are candidates. Signs of bone loss usually mean that implants are not an option.

With a better understanding of your two options for treatment, you will be able to speak with your trusted dental professional at EZ Dental to make a plan for filling the space in your mouth to achieve your dream smile.

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