Bridge vs. Implant to Replace a Missing Tooth
Are you missing a tooth and weighing whether to replace it with dental implants or a bridge? If so, there’s some information about both methods that you need to consider as you make your decision.
Implants, which are small titanium posts that are then connected to a naturally appearing tooth crown, are durable, and they replace the missing tooth’s root, which prevents erosion of the remaining jaw bone. Implants come closest to matching the natural tooth in terms of form and function. They have no adverse impact on other nearby teeth, they are stand-alone tooth replacements.
On the other hand, a bridge, which anchors a replacement tooth to crowns on the teeth adjacent to the gap, requires healthy tooth structure to be shaved from those neighboring teeth to accommodate the crowns. It’s also difficult to keep the teeth and gums clean in the area of the bridge since all crowns are physically connected, and that presents the risk of infection and gum disease, which can ultimately lead to more tooth loss.
Moreover, a bridge does not prevent bone resporption at all, whereas implants do. As you lose bone, the shape of your jaw will change. If that change is significant enough, your missing tooth area under the bridge will shrink and began to lodge food, become unsightly and then need to be entirely replaced.
In order to avoid the damage and complications associated with bridges, patients should opt for implants instead. Dr. Steven A. Koos, an implant dentist in Chicago, can offer you an enduring tooth replacement method that won’t compromise nearby teeth in the same way a bridge does and should last a lifetime.
If you’re a Chicago patient who chooses dental implants to fill in the gaps left as a result of missing teeth, you’ll get replacements that look and function just like natural teeth without sacrificing your neighboring healthy teeth.