Dental implants and bridges are vital procedures for fixing gaps due to tooth loss. The implant is a metal replacement for a tooth root – it anchors a prosthetic crown, bridge, or denture; While on the other hand, a dental bridge is an artificial tooth supported by adjusted teeth.
Both procedures solve tooth loss problems. However, they have benefits and drawbacks to each solution. Nevertheless, having either one of the solutions is better than living with tooth gaps. You can choose a suitable solution by analyzing its pros and cons against the alternative.
The Downside of Missing Teeth
Data from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons indicates that 69% of adults between 35 and 44 years lose one tooth. The cause of loss include mishaps, gum disease, dental cavities, or a failed root canal. Whatever the reason, losing a tooth is an inconvenience.
Aside from the self-consciousness of having a gap, tooth loss can affect your speech when the affected tooth is required to pronounce certain words. The opening left causes unalignment of other teeth, creating more spaces.
Gaps also interfere with biting and chewing – this eventually distorts the jaw. Additionally, tooth loss can also degrade the surrounding tissue and bone. Infection likelihood in the gums and jaw increases with remaining tooth pieces.
If you are at crossroads about choosing between dental implants or bridges, we have simplified your deliberation process by listing the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
A Long-Lasting Solution
Dental implants are the long-running solutions in the market and can last up to 15 years or more. In the procedure, we insert artificial tooth roots, usually made of titanium, by screwing them on the jawbone. We then fix a prosthetic tooth on the artificial root to secure it in place.
Teeth Aesthetics Conform to Reality
The fixed tooth functions and feels like a natural tooth – you feel no strangeness from the implant. The added tooth does not trigger sensations of a foreign object in the mouth. We advise maintaining dental hygiene on dental implants just like any other tooth to increase the implant’s longevity.
Implants Hardly Cause Damage When the Procedure is Done Right
Implants do not affect surrounding teeth tissue and bone – even the surgical site remains fully functioning. The implant maintains the jawbone’s health by not increasing sensitivity or susceptibility to teeth and gum infection or disease. They also preserve the natural teeth position.
Furthermore, there is no strain on the gums. Each implant performs the function of natural teeth. Even the teeth around the implant remain healthy and unaffected by the implant.
No Need for Special Cleaning Solutions
Dental implants operate like natural teeth. You need not remove it for cleaning or soak it in a teeth cleaning solution overnight. Regular flossing in the morning and before you go to bed is sufficient to maintain the prosthetic tooth.
Cost Effective in the Long Run
The one-time dental procedure is a bit pricey but cost-effective long-term. So long as you have a daily dental cleaning routine, dental implants can last a long time. Thus, you will not need to frequent your dentist’s office for replacement procedures.
Higher Upfront Costs
The initial cost can keep you from rectifying a dental problem needing immediate intervention. Waiting to save up may not be plausible for every condition. Affordability also decreases when you do not have insurance.
Policy Payment Issues
Insurance payments can drag up to six months. Sometimes they may be denied. We work with our patients, ensuring they get insights on what to expect from their insurance provider. Regardless of delays or denials, you can find proper care at affordable rates.
A dental implant is only as effective as the surgeon’s expertise and their team. Malpractices or mistakes are costly to patients. Our team is skilled and experienced in tackling dental surgical procedures. Our periodontists are board-certified and members of renowned dental and periodontal professional organizations. You can trust us with a dental implant procedure.
Dental Bridge Advantages
No Surgery Required
You do not need surgery to get a dental bridge. We usually fix the artificial dental material to cover the gap of missing teeth using your adjacent natural teeth as support. There is no invasion into your teeth.
Lower Upfront Costs
The initial price of having bridges is low because the procedure is not as complicated.
Expensive Long-Term Costs
We replace dental bridges after five to 10 years. The period shortens if your dental hygiene is not good enough. Thus, the cumulative costs of the subsequent procedures make the intervention more expensive.
Adjacent Teeth Problems
Dental bridges are supported by the adjacent healthy teeth using clasps. The weight of the prosthetic usually wears down on the natural teeth causing tension and wear and tear from the trauma when the procedure is wrong. Ultimately, the bridge harms the healthy teeth, requiring you to have additional interventions on the normal teeth.
Increased Risk of Infection
If the original tooth under a bridge is decaying, it may spread to the neighboring teeth. Poor hygiene exacerbates the process. Worse still, the decay can also affect the jaw and gum. The bridge only masks the problem in such cases. It does not eliminate the problem. Therefore, hygiene is crucial.
Dental bridges do not age well. With time, someone can tell the teeth are not natural. Furthermore, the expertise of your dentist is vital. They need to find a tooth aesthetic that aligns perfectly with your jawline. When dental bridges mismatch with your dental alignment, they cause more irritation to the surrounding teeth and gums.
Get In Touch With Us
Procedures aside, the success of the solution you choose depends on the efficiency of the dental team working on your teeth. At Periodontal Associates of Memphis, we have skilled and experienced experts tending to your dental needs.
Dr. Mitchel S. Godat, the leader, specializes in periodontics and dental implants. He has performed over 20,000 dental implants surgeries. He acquired his Masters in Oral Biology along with a Specialty Degree in Periodontics and Dental Implants at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he also did his residency.
Dr. Gotat did his doctorate in Dentistry (DDS) from the University Of Tennessee College Of Dentistry. He has received over 18 awards during his active years in service as a periodontist. Moreover, his dental peers have awarded him leading dentist, periodontist, and dental implant surgeon in Memphis and the Mid-South for ten years.
Dr. Grant King is also part of our leadership. He holds his doctorate in dental surgery and Master of Dental Science from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry (UTHSC). He also got specialty training in periodontics and implant dentistry at this university, where he was appointed and served as chief resident.
Contact us to schedule an appointment today!