Individuals who are missing one or more natural teeth in their mouth have a number of options to consider when it comes to how to replace the missing tooth. One of the most common tooth replacement options for a single tooth is to get a dental bridge. This is a non-invasive dental procedure that allows for a replacement tooth to be situated permanently in place by means of securing it to the adjacent teeth.
Opting for a dental bridge has long been the most logical solution for dental patients who need a way to replace a lone missing tooth in their mouths. This is because the resulting replacement looks natural, feels comfortable and remains permanently secured in place so that it can function as if it were a natural tooth. However, with advances in dentistry over the years, there are now other options to consider as well when you need to replace a tooth.
One option that has some people shying away from dental bridges is to get a dental implant. While this is a more costly and more invasive procedure than a bridge, it results in a number of benefits that cannot be realized by the more traditional option. For example, when you opt for a bridge, the replacement tooth only rests on top of your gums but is not secured into your jaw bone. This can result in atrophy of the underlying bone over time, which is not only unhealthy for your bone but can result in undesired aesthetic consequences. In contrast, an implant is surgically secured into the underlying jawbone which encourages bone growth and helps to maintain bone strength over time.
Another point to consider is the ongoing care of a bridge compared to an implant. Since the pontic, or replacement tooth of a bridge, sits along the top of the gums, a good deal of care must be taken to keep food, debris and bacteria out of the area between the gumline and the bottom of the pontic. Your dentist will instruct you in how to do this, but if you neglect this care, you can wind up with serious problems with your gums or may experience decay in adjacent teeth. In contrast, since an implanted tooth is firmly secured into the jawbone in a similar fashion to a natural tooth, there is less opportunity for debris or bacteria to make its way between the gumline and the replacement tooth.
Of course, although there are benefits associated with implants that are not available with dental bridges, there are still a number of good reasons that bridges are such a popular option. For one, they are non-invasive. This means no surgery, less pain, a reduced likelihood of infection and no need to wait while the surgical site heals. The dental bridge procedure is also less expensive than an implant, making it a more economical choice for those that don’t want to invest additional money to replace their tooth.
Whichever option you choose, you should feel confident that you will be left with a replacement tooth that is attractive, functional and long-lasting.
For more information about dental bridges or to schedule an appointment to discuss if a dental bridge is right for you, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.