If you have lost a tooth, it is crucial to replace it to protect the health and function of your mouth. There are several options for replacing a missing tooth, but the two most common are dental implants and dental bridges.
A dental bridge uses two dental crowns placed on adjacent teeth to support a replacement tooth or pontic in between. The bridge can be made as separate pieces that are attached together with wires or it can be constructed as a single piece of ceramic.
A dental implant replaces the tooth root with a titanium post that is implanted directly into the bone. This is then topped with an aesthetic dental crown that takes the place of the visible portion of the tooth.
Dental implants offer significant advantages over the more traditional dental bridges. Because they are anchored in the jawbone, dental implants stimulate your gums and jawbone, so your gums do not collapse or your bone atrophy, as tends to happen with dental bridges. Dental implants function more like your natural tooth. You can eat all the same foods and take care of your teeth normally, unlike dental bridges which require special care.
Most importantly, a dental implant doesn’t require support from the neighboring teeth, so you can retain your natural teeth intact on either side of the missing tooth.
Dental bridges may be a better option for you, though, if you do not have enough jawbone to support a dental bridge and you do not wait for a bone graft. Sometimes, they may also be recommended if the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are already damaged and will benefit from crowning.
To learn which tooth replacement option is right for you, please schedule a consultation at Miami Designer Smiles today to talk to a cosmetic dentist about your tooth replacement options.