Implants vs. Bridges: Which is Best for Me?
It is important to replace your missing teeth, both for function as well as your self-esteem. Rosas Family Dentistry in Clear Lake offers tooth replacements such as bridges and dental implants. But which treatment is right for you?
Deciding Between Bridges and Implants
Implants and bridges function in completely different ways. Each option has its own benefits. For decades, dental bridges have been an effective choice to replace missing teeth. But today, dental implants are considered the standard for dental care because of their unique design.
Choosing between these two common tooth replacements is often a personal decision, but our Clear Lake dentist can guide you through the process.
Fixed dental bridges can be used to replace up to two missing teeth at a time as long as there are healthy teeth on either side of the missing one (to support it.) Some of the benefits of a bride include:
- Results within just a couple of weeks.
- No removable partial dentures or oral surgery.
- Matched to your adjacent teeth.
- Reinforce the supporting teeth if they require crowns.
However, a dental bridge can come with some disadvantages. A bridge is less expensive than a dental implants, but it only lasts for about 10 years before it needs to be replaced with a new one. Additionally, it requires reshaping the supporting teeth, which may be invasive if those teeth are perfectly healthy. That’s why we only recommend a bridge if the adjacent teeth could also benefit from a crown (cap). Your bridge and supporting teeth can also be more difficult to clean around than the other teeth in your mouth.
Implants are a more modern option to replace missing teeth. Unlike bridges, implants do not depend on any other teeth for support. One implant can be used to replace a single tooth, or multiple implants can be placed to support full mouth All-on-4 implants. If you have three or more missing teeth, implants can support bridges as well.
Although dental implants can be more costly than bridges upfront, they are the most predictable investment and can last for the rest of your lifetime. They also slow aging in your face, as they promote dense bone in the area they’re installed.
Implants enable you to:
- Permanently replace your tooth with something that looks and feels natural.
- Avoid invasive treatments to adjacent, healthy teeth.
- Easily care for them each day. Simply floss and brush your implant as you would any other tooth.
- Enjoy the best return-on-investment overall.
Although they take a bit more time to place than other types of tooth replacements, their long lifespan makes them well worth it.
Implants vs. Bridges: Which is Best?
Both bridges and implants can be used to enhance your smile. With bridges, two of your natural teeth will need to be trimmed and fitted for crowns in order to support the bridge. This step can weaken neighboring teeth, and require ongoing replacement every few years.
On the other hand, implant therapy does not require the removal of any healthy tooth structure. Implants can replace one tooth, or several. They easily set next to healthy teeth and help preserve the overall integrity of your natural smile. Their biocompatibility also promotes healthy bone levels to slow aging in your face.
Can bridges and implants be combined?
Yes, even if you don’t want to wear removable appliances like partials or traditional full dentures, implants can anchor multi-tooth dental bridges to restore several teeth at one time. Since implants are so strong, they’re able to withstand the biting pressure of multiple teeth. For a complete arch, you can use as few as four or six implants!
Rosas Family Dentistry in Clear Lake is able to provide a variety of traditional fixed bridges, dental implants, and implant-supported bridges to fit our patients’ needs.
There may not be a right or wrong answer for your missing tooth needs. Everyone’s situation and preferences are completely different. We recommend visiting with our Clear Lake dentist to discuss your options and decide which one is best for you.
Regardless of which one you choose, the replacement teeth on your implant or bridge will be carefully designed to look like the ones on either side of it. We want your smile to be both functional as well as attractive.
Consultations for Bridge & Implants in Clear Lake
Do you have missing teeth? We can help you choose the best tooth replacement option for your smile. Call Rosas Family Dentistry in Clear Lake today to learn more about our custom dental bridges and implants.