Losing a tooth can dramatically affect your smile and your self-esteem. It can also make it difficult to eat certain foods. Whether you are missing a tooth because of genetics, decay, gum disease or injury, it is important to replace it to maintain oral function and keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
The good news is there are many options for restoring your smile. Let’s compare two popular tooth replacement options, a dental implant and a tooth-supported bridge.
A dental implant serves as a replacement tooth root. It is surgically placed in the bone and topped with an implant crown once healing is complete. Dental implants are now the standard of care for tooth replacement because they provide an aesthetic and permanent solution.
Pros of Dental Implants:
- A natural-looking tooth that feels and functions like your own
- Dental implants can last a lifetime with good overall health and oral hygiene maintenance
- Adjacent teeth remain intact
- Reliable and secure
- Help prevent bone loss
Cons of Dental Implants:
- More expensive upfront
- Surgical procedure requires additional healing time
- Not everyone is a candidate – some medications and smoking can increase the chance of implant failure
A tooth-supported bridge uses the two neighboring teeth to support the replacement tooth. The adjacent teeth are shaved down slightly, and the bridge is cemented on top.
Pros of a Bridge:
- Fixed and aesthetic restoration
- Can last several years with good oral hygiene maintenance
- The procedure can be completed in a few weeks
- Some costs may be reimbursed by dental insurance
Cons of a Bridge:
- Supporting teeth need to be modified
- The supporting teeth are more vulnerable to decay and recession, as a result
- Bone around the missing tooth root can shrink over time and cause a cosmetic and functional defect
No matter which option you choose, our team is committed to making your treatment comfortable and affordable. Our experienced Treatment Coordinators can help you plan for your current and future dental needs. You might be surprised to find that investing in dental implants can actually be the less expensive solution in the long term.
Don’t let a missing tooth keep you from smiling and enjoying your life! Contact us today to find a solution that is right for you.