At Saba Road Dental Center our dentists can replace one or a few missing teeth with a dental bridge or dental implants, but which tooth replacement option is right for you? Here, our Richmond dentists share more about these options.
Replacing Missing Teeth
For patients looking to replace a number of side-by-side missing teeth, either a dental bridge or dental implants are great tooth replacement options worth considering. That said, while both of these options offer patients a natural looking way to restore the function and appearance of their smile, each has their own pros and cons.
If you have experienced deterioration of your jaw bones and gums since the natural teeth were lost, a dental bridge may be the ideal tooth replacement option for you. A single tooth or multiple teeth can be replaced by a 'bridge' of artificial teeth, attached to adjacent teeth (or to dental implants) on either side of the gap.
- When compared to the dental implant process, getting a dental bridge placed is a much less invasive process.
- Patients who have experienced deterioration of the jaw bone will not require additional bone or gum grafting surgeries in order to place a dental bridge.
- A bridge is not a permanent tooth replacement option. A dental bridge can be expected to last between 5-15 years.
- To hold the bridge in place, supporting teeth must be prepared by removing much of the enamel, leading to an increased risk of tooth decay.
Dental implants are a permanent way to replace a single or multiple missing teeth. Dental implants are tiny titanium rods that are permanently implanted into the jawbone where the roots of the natural tooth would have been. Once dental implants have been surgically placed, they can be capped with a crown, bridge or denture to create a natural looking tooth replacement.
- Dental implants function almost exactly like natural teeth and give your smile a natural feel and appearance.
- Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option which can last 25 years or more with proper care.
- The dental implant process is more invasive than having a bridge placed and may take weeks or months to complete.
- A bone graft may be required before the dental implants can be placed. Bone grafts can take several weeks to heal.