Losing a permanent tooth is never ideal. However, it does happen. Whether due to poor oral health or accidental trauma, a tooth almost always needs to be replaced with a prosthetic option. This helps patients avoid the aesthetic setback of a missing tooth along with oral health issues, speech and eating limitations and dental misalignment. When it comes to replacing a tooth, you’ve got two basic options: a dental implant or a dental bridge. While dental bridges are a quicker and more affordable option, it is important to understand their advantages as well as their disadvantages.
Benefits of a Dental Bridge
Dental bridges involve placing two crowns on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth. These crowns serve as anchors for the prosthetic tooth or pontic that is used to fill the gap. In general, patients appreciate the following benefits of choosing a dental bridge:
- Lower cost than dental implants
- Life-like option in function and appearance
- Quick solution, often placed in a single visit
- No bone grafting needed
Drawbacks of a Dental Bridge
While dental bridges are an excellent solution for many patients, they aren’t right for everyone. A skilled restorative dentist will help you carefully consider the following cons or drawbacks of a dental bridge:
- Requires removal of healthy tooth structure on adjacent teeth
- Produces excess strain and pressure on anchoring teeth
- Doesn’t replace tooth root so bone loss or gum recession can still occur
- Must be replaced every 10 to 15 years
What is Right For You?
If these concerns of a dental bridge outweigh the benefits for you, you can opt for a dental implant. Dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement. Although they may require more upfront time and cost, they are a permanent solution that looks, feels and functions most like your real tooth. In addition, a dental implant can prevent the bone loss that is associated with missing teeth.
At Riverwood Dental, we want to find a restorative solution that fits your needs, preferences and budget. If you’ve recently lost a tooth or had a permanent tooth extracted, please call our office sooner rather than later!