If you have a missing tooth, you used to only have three options: leave the space open, get a partial denture, or have a bridge made to fill it in. Bridges look like 3-4 dental crowns bonded together, with the end crowns resting over supporting teeth and the ones between floating over the open space. The end result made it look as if you didn’t have any missing teeth.
But then dental implants took a major turn, becoming more predictable, less invasive, and faster to complete.
So today if you have a tooth that’s missing, your two options to replace it are usually a dental bridge or implant. But which one is best?
Bridges can be prepped, placed, and completed in just two visits over the span of about two weeks. Once they’re set, that’s it. With regular care and maintenance, a quality dental bridge can last several years.
A bridge needs healthy teeth to support it. Before it can be installed, the adjacent teeth have to be reshaped so that the bridge slips over, like a crown. If neighboring teeth are healthy, this reduction of the enamel permanently and unnecessarily alters their structure.
Additionally, bridges may not last for more than a decade or so. They will ultimately need to be replaced with a new one. At a certain point, the supporting teeth may be too weak to hold a new bridge, due to lack of stability. or paste your own from a different source.
Modern dental implants hold a number of advantages over conventional tooth replacement treatments. They are non-invasive to neighboring teeth, functioning as an independent structure. Likewise, they have the highest success rate of any modern dental treatment (over 98%) making them very unlikely to fail.
But best of all, studies show that most dental implants will last for the entire life of the patient. Investing in an implant now will mean you’re likely to have it forever. They’re fused into your jaw bone, supporting your bone and facial profile.
Since implants are stronger than natural teeth, they can be used in pairs to support multi-tooth dental restorations when a bridge may not be possible.
Implants require healthy bone to support them. If you lack bone depth, a graft may be needed.
Although some people see the slightly higher cost of implants as a possible disadvantage, they’re actually more affordable in the long run. That’s because implants do not typically need to be replaced.
2440 M Street, NW, Suite 328,
Washington, DC 20037
MON - THU:8:00 am-4:00 pm
FRI:By appointments only
SAT - SUN:Closed
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 785-4141