What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are permanently attached dental appliances that literally "bridge" the gap created by missing teeth. They are used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Unlike dentures, they can only be safely removed by a dentist because they are permanently attached to the teeth on either side of the gap. Additionally, they are referred to as "permanent partial dentures."
How to care for your dental bridges
Once your dental bridge is in place, you can treat it as you would your natural teeth. Your bridge should last for many years if you brush and floss regularly. Additionally, you should maintain regular dental visits.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone to act as a tooth root replacement. Dental implants are a type of prosthetic tooth that is used to replace missing teeth. Titanium is a type of metal that can form bonds with natural bone, making it an ideal material for the foundation of an artificial tooth. The implant is then covered with a dental crown (cap) to serve as the artificial tooth replacement.
When used together, the dental crown and implant have a very similar appearance and feel to a natural tooth.
How to care for your dental implants
Like with bridges, you should take care of your dental implants just like your natural teeth. This includes a strong brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist.
How do I know which option is right for me?
Dental implants and dental bridges both have their advantages, and the best option for any given person will depend on that person's oral health needs as well as his or her financial situation.
The placement of dental implants is significantly more invasive than the placement of dental bridges. However, dental implants can often appear and feel more natural than dental bridges.
Additionally, you must have an adequate amount of jaw bone for the dental implant procedure to be successful. If you lack sufficient bone in your jaw, you may still be able to receive an implant, but you will need to undergo bone grafting first to ensure the implant can be supported. As a result, the implant process would be slightly more time-consuming and invasive.
At the end of the day, the only way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult with your dentist.