What’s Better for You – A Dental Implant or Fixed Bridge?

While a fixed bridge (also called a crown and bridge) is effective at replacing missing teeth, it can leave much to be desired. Thankfully, it’s not your only option. As you continue reading, you’ll learn about an innovative alternative, as dental implant benefits are compared to crown and bridge tooth replacement. Therefore, you can make an educated decision about how to create an attractive and highly functional smile!

 

HOW A FIXED BRIDGE WORKS

A traditional bridge consists of one to three porcelain teeth that are affixed to a single apparatus. Crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth and the bridge is permanently bonded in place. Once the procedure is done, patients can expect to regain up to 25% of their original chewing capacity, while achieving a more aesthetically-pleasing appearance.

One of the challenges associated with receiving a fixed bridge is that any structural jaw changes can cause the restoration to shift or slide, which can lead to painful gum irritation. Since a bridge rests above the gum line, it’s also less effective at maintaining jawbone density.

THE DIFFERENCE THAT DENTAL IMPLANTS CAN MAKE

There is one feature that separates dental implants from any other form of tooth replacement: its attachment below the gum line. The procedure starts with a titanium post being surgically inserted into the underlying bone. Then, over a period of three to eight months, the fixture will fuse with the same through a process called osseointegration.

Once a sound foundation is established, an abutment (anchor) and final restoration can be added to leave a fully restored, attractive and functional smile. Here are some benefits that are specific to receiving dental implants:

  • None of your surrounding teeth have to be altered.
  • Your jawbone will be stimulated to produce new bone cells.
  • With the securely rooted structure, you can avoid facial collapse and premature wrinkling.
  • You’ll regain up to 95% of your original chewing capacity, which means you can maintain a regular diet.
  • You can brush and floss your teeth like you normally would.

DETERMINING YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR IMPLANTS

The dental implant process has a 95% success rate, and one of the reasons that such a high standard has been maintained is the attention that goes into the pre-qualification process. Thus, to determine your eligibility, you’ll need to visit a local implant dentist for a thorough examination. The visit will also provide an opportunity for you to be better educated about the procedure.

No longer do you have to settle for living without your teeth or choosing an inferior means of replacing them. With dental implants, you’ll soon be smiling, eating and living with more confidence!

About the Author

Dr. Terry Rigdon is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry and graduate of the Misch Implant Institute. With over 40 years of experience as a dentist, he takes a careful and calculated approach to providing care. Dr. Rigdon places dental implants at Rigdon Dental & Associates, and he can be reached for more information through his website.