Choosing Between a Dental Bridge and an Implant

Women healthy smile looking at the front

4 Min Read:

If you’ve lost teeth, suffered from dental trauma, or other oral health issues, you may be wondering what your smile restoration options are. Dental bridges and implants are both common options, and determining which one is right for you depends on the health of the rest of your teeth and your cosmetic goals.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge, sometimes called a tooth bridge, is a permanent reparative process that uses a dental prosthetic to replace missing teeth. Dental bridges are made of porcelain bonded to metal or ceramic material. The bridge is used to join an artificial tooth to the remaining teeth.

What Is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are titanium or ceramic screws used to replace missing tooth roots and are then covered by a crown (a prosthetic tooth). When the screw is initially inserted into the jaw bone, a temporary covering is put over it since you must wait two to four months before the crown can be added. The implants act just like your natural teeth, so you can still eat and enjoy your favorite foods.

Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant: Which One Do I Need?

When choosing between a dental bridge and an implant, it is crucial to consider the state of your remaining teeth.

Dental implants are typically recommended for people with several missing teeth or those who have had gum disease that altered their jaw bone. This is because dental implants replace missing tooth roots, slowing the resorption process. Resorption causes the jaw bone to deteriorate and the jawline to thin out, and this can lead to additional tooth loss, so dental implants are a great preventative measure.

A dental bridge may be a better option if your remaining teeth are in good condition. Additionally, a dental bridge can benefit those with a missing tooth located next to a tooth needing a crown. Dental bridges can be joined to dental implants as well as remaining teeth. It is important to note that dental bridges alone only fix the visible part of the tooth, so any issues with tooth roots will need to be addressed with implants.

Ultimately, choosing which dental procedure is right for you will be discussed and determined during your consultation with Dr. Kohani.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are excellent for correcting your bite, preventing future teeth issues, and restoring your smile. Gaps in your teeth can shift the way your upper and lower teeth align, and if food gets stuck in the empty space, that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. When teeth are missing, additional strain is put on the remaining teeth, which can result in teeth spreading out––causing pain and discomfort. Missing teeth can also alter the shape of your face due to the lack of previous structure provided by teeth. Dental bridges not only help restore your smile, but they also allow your natural face shape to be maintained.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Similarly to dental bridges, dental implants significantly impact your facial structure due to the stimulation they provide for the jaw. Dental implants can greatly improve your eating functionality and comfort levels while chewing and swallowing food.

How Long Will My Dental Bridges or Dental Implants Last?

Both dental bridges and implants are considered to have long-lasting results. Dental implants can be a permanent fix for missing teeth if cared for properly.

Have More Questions About Dental Bridges and Implants in San Diego, CA?

To learn more about dental bridges, implants, and which option is best for you, schedule your consultation with La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics today! Call us at (858) 281-0653 or fill out our online contact form.