When it comes to replacing lost teeth, there are several options available: dental implants or dental bridges. Both options will keep your remaining teeth from shifting, improve your appearance, and allow you to talk and eat normally. The pros and cons of both should be carefully considered before making a decision.
Bridges can be a quick and easy (and less expensive) solution to replacing a lost tooth. In simple terms, a bridge is made up of one or more artificial teeth (depending on how many need to be replaced) that is anchored to healthy teeth on either end. These teeth are ground down to accept the anchors, which typically are metal bands. Bridges can be noticeable, especially around the anchors. On the downside, bridges will last between 10 and 15 years, and do require more maintenance than dental implants. Typically, the process takes 2 -3 visits to the dentist.
Implants are more natural-looking than dental bridges. In addition, they are considered permanent, and, with proper care, should not have to be replaced. There is no stress placed on surrounding teeth as there is with a dental bridge, and may make eating a bit easier (bridges may take getting used to). They are easy to maintain – just brush and floss as you would with your natural teeth. The downside with implants is that the process can take as long as 6 weeks to 9 months, depending on how quickly you heal. In addition, implants can be more expensive than bridges – however, keep in mind that you may never have to replace an implant where you may need to replace your bridge several times (especially if the anchor teeth degenerate).
Talk to your dentist to make sure that you have the whole story. There may be reasons to favor one over the other, and he or she will help you make the right decision. If you are in the Laguna Hills – Orange County area, Dr. Roth will guide you through the process. Give him a call at 949-694-7996 and set up an appointment today.