Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants
October 31, 2018
If you have a tooth that requires extraction, or you already have a gap in your smile, you are probably concerned about the effect it will have on your ability to use your teeth and the appearance of your smile. Many patients find that they become embarrassed about the way that their teeth look, and lose confidence and self-esteem. They may even try to avoid certain situations so that they don’t have to show their teeth. Eating and even speaking may be more difficult than before.
Fortunately, dental bridges and dental implants provide patients with two ways of filling the gap in their teeth and achieving a functional and attractive smile once more.
What is a dental bridge?
A traditional dental bridge is the name given to a device designed to fill a gap in your smile caused by tooth loss. Each device is custom-designed specifically for your mouth and is comprised of a prosthetic tooth called a pontic, and several crowns either side of the prosthetic. These are placed over the top of the teeth that neighbor the gap and are called abutment teeth. The prosthetic tooth is most often made from porcelain so that it can be color-matched to your existing teeth, but it can also be made from gold or alloy.
Benefits of a dental bridge
Some of the key benefits of a dental bridge include:
- Restoring the appearance of your smile
- Restoring the function of your teeth
- Enabling you to enjoy better confidence and self-esteem
- Fairly affordable compared to some alternatives
By filling the gap with a prosthetic tooth, you will also help prevent your other teeth from moving out of alignment, which could potentially cause further dental problems.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are a highly innovative solution designed to replace both a missing tooth, and the root of the missing tooth. Each has two key components. These are a titanium post, which makes up the tooth root, and a prosthetic tooth, which is usually created from high-grade porcelain. The two are attached to one another using a special connector.
The replacement of the tooth root is what makes the design of dental implants truly unique and able to be used as a standalone solution that is not reliant on any supporting teeth. The titanium post is inserted into the jaw bone via the gums, in a pre-identified space beneath the gap left by the missing tooth. Since bone is live and can regrow, once the implant post is in place, the jaw bone will regenerate around it, securing it permanently. The top of the implant post protrudes slightly from the top of the gum enabling the custom-designed porcelain crown to be attached to it, finishing the process and restoring the patient with a fully functional and natural, attractive smile.
While a conventional dental implant procedure takes place over several appointments spaced a number of weeks or months apart, there are some dentists who can offer an expedited service. This means that it is impossible for you to leave with your new smile in as little as a day.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants offer patients a number of benefits, including several totally unique advantages. Some of the most commonly-cited reasons for choosing dental implants include:
- Durability. Dental implants are known for being very strong and long-lasting.
- Comfort. Patients state that implants are so comfortable, they feel just like natural teeth.
- Convenience. Patients can eat what they like without worrying that their implant will come out.
- Improved appearance of their smile. Patients are much happier with how their smile looks and are much more likely to show their teeth.
- Better confidence and self-esteem. As a direct result of their satisfaction with their smile.
Can a dental implant replace a dental bridge?
In short, yes it can. Rather than having a dental device that is reliant on teeth that are neighboring the gap for support, you can have a standalone prosthetic in the form of a dental implant. This offers patients several benefits.
First of all, dental bridges often place pressure on the abutment teeth which, over time, can cause them to become damaged or even loose. Fortunately, since they also replace the tooth root, dental implants sit in the gap left by your missing tooth without interfering with other teeth. Secondly, while dental bridges usually require maintenance or even replacement after a number of years, dental implants have been shown to have unrivalled strength and durability and with the right care, could last upwards of two decades.
In recent years, a number of patients are turning to implant-supported bridges which combine the design of a traditional bridge with dental implant technology. This means that they do not use supporting teeth or framework to support the replacement tooth, but instead are secured on dental implant posts. This design is most often recommended for patients who need a bridge to replace several missing teeth.
If you would like to learn more about dental bridges or dental implants, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your individual circumstances and candidacy, Armbrust Dental would be delighted to assist. Please call us at to learn more about our services to support Dental Bridges and Dental Implants in Omaha. You can also click here to contact us online and schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!