There are many risk factors that can result in tooth loss, such as injury, disease or tooth decay. Thankfully due to modern dentistry, proper dental treatments can replace your missing teeth, and also improve your confidence and smile. In fact, proper dental treatments may even improve your smile in the long run. While there are many dental treatments that can replace missing teeth, were going to focus on crowns and bridges vs. dental implants.
What are crowns and bridges?
Both dental crowns and bridges are known as fixed dental prosthetic devices. Unlike other dental appliances like dentures, dental crowns and bridges can only be removed by a professional. The dental appliance consists of false teeth in the middle and one or more anchoring crowns on either side. Crowns and bridges are placed by cementing them to the affected tooth, and in some cases to a dental implant. The upside to this dental treatment is that it doesn’t requires oral surgery.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots (or “posts”) that are integrated into the jawbone to support a crown. After being placed into the jawbone through a short surgical procedure, the artificial tooth root must fuse with the jawbone to stay firmly anchored in the correct position. Once the implant fuses with the jawbone (which takes between 3-6 months), a crown is attached to the post. The post protrudes above the gum line and provides a surface where the crown is either screwed or cemented into place.
Bridges compared to implants
Before you choose which dental treatment you would like to go forth with to replace missing teeth, you should take the following into consideration:
- How long they both last. If taken of care of properly, dental implants can last many years and typically last a patient of the age 45 the rest of their lifetime. The crown may have to be replaced every 10-15 years due to normal wear and tear, but the implant itself is permanent. Dental bridges typically need to be replaced periodically, but can last up to 10 year or more by practicing proper oral hygiene
- Long-term oral health. Bone and tissues loss occurs underneath dental bridges where the tooth was missing or extracted, which can cause the remaining teeth to become unstable. Dental implants, on the other hand, are the only dental restorations that simulate bone growth, which preserves both the bone and gums.
- Oral hygiene. Using a specific type of floss and other dental tools are required to clean underneath the dental bridge and to keep them free of plaque. Dental implants require excellent oral hygiene, but can be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth.
- The appearance. While modern bridges look natural, as the bone and gum tissue are lost over time, gaps can form underneath the dental appliance. Dental implants deliver the high-quality aesthetic results. The crown arises through the top of your gums in the same way a natural tooth would.
When it comes to making a final decision, it all depends on what you’re looking for. The best option would be dental implants, but if you’re looking for quick results and want to avoid surgery, a dental bridge would be best option for you.
If you would like to further explore your options for replacing missing teeth, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.
Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.