Single Implants vs. Bridges: Which is Better

Once you have missing teeth due to an accident or extraction, you might feel rushed to do something to close up the gap. It is a good idea to tackle the gap quickly so it doesn't allow the rest of your teeth to shift. However, you can take your time deciding what device is right for restoring your smile. Waiting a few weeks to learn more about dental implants and other options won't affect your long-term health or the gap between your teeth. Don't rush into getting work done without knowing the benefits of each restoration method. For most patients, dental implants will offer the best balance of stability and realistic appearance. For others, a classic dental bridge may work better due to limitations that could interfere with implant placement.

Considering Dental Implant Cost

One of the few downsides of tooth implants is the cost. Each implant will cost a few thousand dollars for the entire process, while dental bridges only cost a few hundred dollars in most cases. If you're on a tight budget for dental work, a bridge is an affordable option that will maintain your dental health and give you back your smile. Yet they come with a range of disadvantages in the long run that make it better to choose a dental implant if you can afford it. One option is to select a low-cost dental bridge at first and then save up for affordable dental implants a few months or years later.

Impact on the Surrounding Teeth

Dental bridges attach to the surrounding healthy teeth to keep the device in place as you speak and chew. All that pressure put on your healthy teeth could cause fractures, chips, or general wear. Since the dental implant rests on a titanium anchor post that attaches directly to your jaw, it doesn't affect your surrounding teeth at all. You'll have a healthy smile that no one will be able to guess includes devices like implants. If you're younger, reducing unnecessary wear on healthy teeth is a good idea to keep them strong and intact for as long as possible.

Waiting Periods

If you want your missing teeth hidden as quickly as possible, only a dental bridge will do. Today's CEREC technology allows for the manufacturing of a comfortable and accurate bridge right in the dentist's office during one visit. Dental implants require at least two to three office visits to complete the process since surgery is required to implant the posts and then another visit is needed to fit the prosthetic implant that mimics the look of the tooth. You'll also need to recover between the steps of the implant process, meaning that most people will have to wait between 3 weeks and 2 months before having their smile recovered.

Chewing Strength

Don't give up on biting into crisp apples or chewing your favorite gummy candies just because you have a gap in your teeth. Choosing dental implants will restore your bite pattern with a device nearly as strong as your natural teeth. There's no need to worry about the device moving or breaking as long as you're chewing normally. Dental bridges are designed to fit in place with tight wires that give them strength, but they simply can't compete with the strength of the implant. It's all too common to give up firmer foods in hopes of avoiding damage after getting a bridge placed. Gain confidence when enjoying meals with friends instead of turning down your usual snacks by choosing dental implants instead of a bridge.

Overall Appearance

Want to look like you never lost a tooth at all? Dental implants are much harder to notice and blend in perfectly with the rest of your teeth. Dental bridges do a good job of blending in as well, especially when you choose a skilled aesthetic dentist. Yet bridges are always more noticeable and less disguised than dental implants simply because of the extra equipment they need to stay attached to your healthy teeth. Your dentist will always know if you have a bridge or implant, but no one else will guess you've had work done if you choose the implant. There's nothing to give away the fact that one of your teeth is anchored by titanium instead of a natural root. The anchor is completely hidden by the upper prosthetic unless your dentist needs to inspect or work on it.

There's no need to make this kind of decision on your own either. Your dentist here at Aesthetic Dentistry of Stuart, FL will be happy to answer any questions you still have about both options. We'll guide you to the perfect restoration method and help you match your new implant or bridge with additional treatments like tooth whitening.

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