Dental Implants or Bridgework–Making the Best Choice

Alternatives to Reconsider for a Missing Tooth

When you need to replace a missing tooth, there are two general alternatives to consider. You can choose a traditional bridgework, or select the newer option of dental implants. Both offer a solution that’s reliable, functional, and esthetically pleasing. However, there are a few important differences between the two systems.

Bridge Vs. Dental Implant

A fixed bridge is a dental restoration that’s held in place by attachment to the adjacent natural teeth, which are referred to as abutments. The tooth-replacement section—called pontic spans the gap. Pontics require attachment to the abutments by either a metal frame, or today, a space age porcelain, to the bridge the space from abutment to abutment. The catch is even a single-tooth replacement requires a three-unit bridge and healthy adjacent teeth must be prepared by removing the enamel which increases the risk for a root canal.

A dental implant can be a single tooth replacement system with no effect on healthy adjacent teeth. It involves placing titanium metal implant directly into the living bone of the jaw, in a minor surgical procedure. After a short time, the bone and the implant fuse, and a crown restoration is placed on top to complete the prosthetic tooth system. Dental implants don’t decay, and they’re less likely to lead to gum disease than a natural tooth bridge. They also last longer potentially offering far greater value. Want to know more? Call our office to set up a FREE consultation with Dr. Jones who would love to explain the entire process of dental implants.

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