Many dentists refer to dental implants as the “permanent tooth replacement option,” and while this descriptor is not necessarily inaccurate, it is not completely true, either. The longevity of a dental implant depends on several factors, including a patient’s oral health, lifestyle habits, dental hygiene practices, and diet, to name a few. Patients who are…
Single Tooth Implant Versus Dental Bridge
Among the most common methods of teeth replacement are the single tooth implant and the dental bridge. If you have lost a tooth recently, you are no doubt looking into how you can restore your smile as soon as possible.
Having a missing tooth not only deals a blow to the health of your teeth and gums, but it can have other implications as well. The appearance of a missing tooth is far from desirable and can cause quite the disruption in the smile. Even a missing tooth in the back can wreak havoc on the functionality and appearance of the overall bite.
Once a tooth is lost, the mouth can go through changes fairly quickly. Other teeth can begin to move toward the space in an attempt to fill it, while the jawbone underneath that missing tooth can begin to wither away due to disuse. While tooth implants and dental bridges both serve the purpose of filling that space so this does not occur, only the tooth implant can effectively replace every part of the tooth.
Dental bridges vs. single tooth implants
Depending on what a patient is looking for, dental bridges and tooth implants have different benefits to offer.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are essentially rows of false teeth that use surrounding, healthy teeth for support in order to fill a space left by a missing tooth. Bridges, sometimes known as partial dentures, are often used to replace one or more missing teeth with healthy teeth directly adjacent to them. Less expensive than single tooth implants, dental bridges simply restore the space in a bite. Bridges give back chewing functionality, but they use the gums and other surrounding teeth for support.
How bridges work is that an artificial row of two teeth is custom made for the patient. One of these teeth acts as a crown, as it is placed over a prepared existing tooth next to the missing tooth. Attached to the crown is a freestanding artificial tooth that then fills the space of the missing tooth.
What are single tooth implants?
Single tooth implants utilize the jawbone for support, much like a natural tooth would. Using a screw-like rod, the oral surgeon is able to create a completely functional new tooth that can be treated like a natural tooth. The rod is inserted into the jawbone, acting as the new tooth roots. Atop the rod lies an abutment peg that connects the rod to the crown. The crown is then placed atop the abutment to create a fully functional, lifelike, standalone tooth.
Because single tooth implants use the jawbone for support like a natural tooth, the jawbone not only supports the implant and makes it sturdy, but the implant also prevents the jawbone from withering away. All other teeth replacement methods allow the jawbone to shrink away, but not single tooth implants. This prevents a sunken facial appearance that can occur with jawbone density loss.
Recent tooth loss?
Ready for a brand-new tooth that acts and feels like your natural teeth? Consider a single tooth implant over a dental bridge. Call our office today to schedule a consultation and get you on your way to the completed, beautiful smile of your dreams.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Tooth Implant in Albuquerque, NM.
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