Confused between a dental implant and a dental bridge?
September 2, 2016
A single dental implant is a small screw which can be inserted gently into the jaw bone. A restoration (such as a crown) can then be fitted to the implant, securely replacing the missing tooth. The implant fuses with the bone in your jaw, promoting healthy bone growth and giving you a fuller, younger looking face. Implants can also help improve the functionality of your teeth, giving you a bite strength similar to that of your natural teeth. This means that with a dental implant you can eat and enjoy all the foods you love again.
Like implants, tooth retained bridges can replace missing teeth and give you a more aesthetically pleasing smile. However, bridges are anchored to the adjacent teeth and are not steadied by the jaw bone. Preparation to the adjacent teeth is therefore needed. Preparation involves removing a portion of the tooth’s enamel, which can lead to sensitivity and studies show that teeth adjacent to a dental bridge may fail in time, possibly resulting in the need for additional extractions in years to come.
When a tooth is lost, patients can suffer a large amount of bone loss as a result. As a bridge is not inserted into the jaw bone in the same way that an implant is, bridges do not help to stimulate bone growth so bone loss can increase, and also won’t necessarily give you the same biting strength or fuller face that an implant will.
In most cases, it is more advantageous to place an implant rather than a bridge, however we still do place a few bridges in certain circumstances when implant placement is not viable.
Dental bridges can also be fitted to dental implants to replace several missing teeth. Implant retained dental bridges don’t require any tooth preparation of the adjacent teeth and so preserve the health of the adjacent teeth. Like a singular implant, implant retained bridges can also improve the functionality of your teeth, increasing your biting strength and stimulating healthy bone. So for example, two implants could replace three or four missing teeth; you don’t necessarily need one implant per missing tooth.
If you would like to find out more about replacing missing teeth, why not come and talk to us to see how we can help. Call 01904 639667 to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced dentists and we can give you advise on what would be suitable in your case, and the pros and cons of each option.