Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

3 Reasons To Choose A Dental Implant Instead Of A Dental Bridge

Having a missing tooth can affect your confidence and make you hide your smile. While dental bridges are a popular method for replacing one or two missing teeth, you should consider a dental implant instead. Check out these three reasons you should choose dental implants.

Bridges Require Alteration of Healthy Teeth

A dental bridge usually consists of two crowns with one or more fake teeth sandwiched between them. The crowns are placed over the healthy teeth surrounding the missing tooth, and the fake teeth fall into place to look like natural teeth. However, in order for the bridge to fit, the healthy teeth must be altered. The dentist files away most or all of the enamel, and the crown is placed. The material protects your tooth better than enamel, but if you ever lost the bridge or wanted to remove it, the altered teeth will be vulnerable. Therefore, even if you choose to replace your bridge with an implant one day, you'll also need a crown for each altered tooth.  

Implants Use the Jawbone for Support

Another problem with using your healthy teeth as anchors is the strain it puts on the teeth. Teeth are strong, but as two teeth take on the work of three or more, they wear down faster, and your teeth may even become loose. The pressure can also weaken the glue that holds the bridge, allowing cracks to appear, which are doorways for bacteria and decay. Dental implants are a fake titanium root that sits in your jawbone like a normal tooth. The bone eventually fuses to the titanium to create a strong grip. This is much like the way ligaments in your jaw hold natural teeth in place.

Dental Implants Are Versatile

Another benefit of dental implants is that they are versatile. You can get one single implant to replace a missing tooth, but there are also implant-supported bridges. These are like normal dental bridges, but the fake teeth are supported with implants -- not healthy teeth. This is a good alternative if you have several missing teeth in a row and your dentist doesn't feel a traditional bridge will hold. If all your teeth are missing, you can even get implant-supported dentures, which are removable, but the implants allow the dentures to snap into place for a durable hold.

Missing teeth can be embarrassing, but there are many ways to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are the most durable option, and they don't affect healthy teeth. For more information regarding dental implants or other cosmetic services, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area today.