Our teeth do more than create a terrific smile and give us self-confidence. If we have missing teeth, we are more prone to having trouble eating or speaking clearly. If tooth loss is affecting you in these areas, then it might be time to address the issue. Regardless of the reason why you’ve experienced tooth loss, there are different fixes available. Dental implants and dental bridges are two of the most popular. This article will address both dental treatments to help you make a decision.

Exploring Dental Implants

Could a dental implant be the solution to your dental dilemma? A dental implant is an artificial tooth. As the name suggests, it’s surgically implanted in the jaw.

A tooth implant treatment has several pros:

  • Appearance: A dental tooth implant looks and acts like a natural tooth. The tooth will meet the gumline and no one will know you have a new tooth.
  • Function: Once in place, implants function like normal teeth. They’ll restore your ability to smile, chew confidently, and speak clearly.
  • Durability: Implants can last a lifetime with the same basic care as normal teeth.
  • Preservation: Implants preserve surrounding structures. Because implants are placed in the jawbone, they don’t stress nearby teeth the way other restorations can. In fact, implants prevent bone loss in the jaw, which preserves the shape of the face. Other dental fixes for lost teeth don’t offer the same type of tooth and gum preservation. Many people who opt for full mouth dental implants as an alternative to dentures point to this as a reason for their decision.

Clearly, a dental implant has plenty of positives. However, every treatment has some downsides:

  • Time: Implantation dentistry takes time. Multiple visits with your dentist will be required over the course of several months. Then you’re ready to schedule the implant surgery to place a titanium screw, which serves as the implant’s root. Then, patients must wait a few months for healing before an artificial tooth can be placed.
  • Cost: When it comes to tooth replacement options, implants can be a pricier choice. Insurance often leaves much of the bill to the patient. However, because of their longevity, it might be a lower cost over your lifespan.

Discovering Dental Bridges

When someone says they have a bridge to sell you, it’s generally not a good thing. However, a bridge for teeth can be an excellent purchase for the right patient. Fixed dental bridges involve one or more artificial teeth that are supported by the surrounding teeth.

Could a dental bridge be the right choice for you? This option offers several advantages:

  • Convenience: Dental bridges are less invasive and quicker than implants. While they require a couple of dentist visits, they can be completed within a few weeks.
  • Cost: Dental bridges are more affordable initially. Insurance often covers the cost. However, they need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Longevity: Bridges last up to 10 years with proper maintenance.

Here are the potential negatives that you should discuss with your dentist:

  • Danger to surrounding teeth: Dental bridges rely on the surrounding teeth for support. Because of the bridge support, you will be required to remove material from the supporting teeth and redirecting force to them. Both result in additional stress that can increase their risk of damage. In addition, bridges offer a weaker bite strength.
  • Loss of jaw bone: When the root of the tooth is lost, the jaw bone begins to disappear. This eventually shows in facial shape changes.

When teeth go missing, the impact is felt in many ways. At Wekiva Dental, we understand that restoring your smile and your overall oral health is important. We’re delighted to work with you to find the solution that’s the right fit for your situation. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.