Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges

Millions of Americans have one or more missing teeth. This can affect one’s self-esteem, as well as one’s ability to chew effectively. Dental implants and dental bridges are both excellent tooth replacement options that Dr. Spencer provides for his patients to help them regain their confidence and their ability to function as before they lost their teeth. 

Dr. Spencer can discuss what option may be best for you, but here is a brief introduction to dental bridges and implants:

Dental Implants

In its simplest terms, a dental implant is a titanium post that Dr. Spencer places in a patient’s jaw bone to replicate the root of a natural tooth. With time, the jaw bone will heal around the implant. Dentists often refer to this process as “integration.”

 After the implant integrates with the jaw bone, Dr. Spencer creates a beautiful tooth crown to attach to the titanium post, usually with a small screw. Dental implants are strong, beautiful, and are the closest replacement option we have to our natural teeth.

Dr. Spencer considers dental implants the best tooth-replacement option for patients when it is feasible to place them. Unlike other dental restorations, with implants, we don’t have to adjust or rely on any of the surrounding teeth to support the replacement tooth. Patients are also able to brush and floss around implants as if they were natural teeth. Implants have also proven very reliable long term.

Although dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth, they have a few limitations.

To place an implant, a patient needs to have sufficient quantity and quality of bone available to support it. Sometimes, the necessary bone is not available! Implants also take time. We complete implants over several steps: placement of the implant, fabrication of the implant crown, and delivery of the implant crown. 

Together, these steps can take anywhere from 39 months, and sometimes patients don’t have that amount of time.

If you have any questions about dental implants, Dr. Spencer can help answer them and help you decide if they are the right solution for you.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are possible when patients have healthy teeth on both sides of a missing tooth space. Dr. Spencer can use these healthy adjacent teeth to support a replacement tooth, which fills the space of the missing tooth. 

To accomplish this, he will prepare the adjacent teeth by removing one millimeter of tooth structure from around each tooth. A dental lab can then fabricate a beautiful and natural-looking bridge. Dr. Spencer will then bond the bridge in the patient’s mouth.

Dental bridges are a time-proven method for replacing missing teeth and are an excellent option for many of Dr. Spencer’s patients. Dental bridges are often a quicker solution to a missing tooth space than implants, and, if cared for properly, can last just as long!

So, Which Option Is Better?

There is no clear cut answer to the question, “Which option is better?” The answer depends on each individual’s situation. Contact Dr. Spencer’s dental office if you would like to discuss which option might be best for you.