Deciding on a tooth bridge or implant is an important decision. The fact is, tooth replacement has come a long way in the past few decades, and results are impressive. For a patient, it’s important to understand the procedures before making a choice. Along with the dentist, it’s important to understand which treatment is best - tooth bridge or implant? For some, a tooth bridge is the ideal, based on the reason for replacement. For others, a dental implant would be preferred.
Tooth bridge or implant - understanding a dental implant
Dental implants act as a replacement for a natural tooth. As a surgical procedure, an implant essentially connects a “replacement tooth” to the jaw. With implants, the benefit is the natural, comfortable feel for the patient. A dental implant looks exactly like the other teeth, and will be aesthetically pleasing.
Implants also provide support for the structure of the jawbone, and allow for a proper balance of “biting forces”. With an implant, a “post” is surgically rooted in the jaw and “anchor” the “replacement tooth” that will fill the gap. The surgery is quite painless, and the long-term results are excellent. Some healing time is required.
Tooth bridge or implant – understanding a tooth bridge
A tooth bridge is a restorative device – specially designed to fill the open space of a missing tooth. A bridge is customized, and contains an artificial tooth that’s held in place by the teeth on either side of the open space. A dental bridge is permanent, and therefore cannot be removed – the install is precise and accurate.
With good oral care, a tooth bridge will last for 10 years or more. Just like natural teeth, regular maintenance is required, and regular dental visits recommended. For some patients, multiple bridges may be required, depending on the condition of the teeth. With precision work, outcomes are excellent and long term.
The benefits of bridges and implants
Whatever the final choice - tooth bridge or implant – it’s important to collaborate with the dentist for best outcomes. At the Mackenzie Dental Centre, Dr. Lloyd Pedvis effectively corrects a wide range of dental conditions using both bridges and implants.
With advanced treatment protocols, and high-tech instruments, Dr. Pedvis can treat conditions that may even be complex. With full-mouth reconstruction work, for example, Dr. Pedvis may combine implants and bridgework to resolve a condition.
Prevention is always the best approach
With any reconstructive dentistry, early diagnosis is key to success. In fact, early diagnosis can often prevent the need for more serious surgery. Implant or bridge, Dr. Pedvis takes a step-by-step approach to every procedure, allowing for healing and recovery time for best results.
Tooth bridge or implant – which one is best?
Deciding on a tooth bridge or implant is both personal and practical. Some patients may be covered by their personal insurance for both dental procedures, and some may be covered in a more limited way. In general, tooth bridges are covered by many dental plans, but implants are seldom covered. For many, deciding on a tooth bridge or implant may well be a financial decision.
Beyond financial considerations, getting a tooth bridge or implant will depend on personal priorities. The best approach, of course, is to discuss and decide on the best procedure along with the dentist. Unlike the more basic dental procedures, tooth bridges and tooth implants require more invasive dental work, healing and recovery time, as well as longer term maintenance.
In terms of the actual procedures, a bridge can be installed in as little as three clinic visits. At the same time, a dental implant requires surgery and recovery time, which could span over several months. Dental implants may need replacement after 15 years of natural wear and tear. Bridges, even though more affordable, need replacement after about 5 years with proper maintenance.
The difference between a dental implant and tooth bridge
When affixing a dental implant, a small-sized titanium “root” is placed into the jawbone where a tooth is missing. That “root” will bond with bone tissue over time, and will create the base on which an abutment is installed. As a last step, an artificial tooth is firmly positioned into place.
With a dental bridge, dental crowns are affixed to the natural teeth on either side of a missing tooth (or teeth). The dental crowns are used to “build” a bridge that will hold an artificial tooth in place. While the missing tooth is covered, the artificial tooth is not actually affixed to the jaw.
Understanding the pros and cons of bridges and implants
The big benefit of a dental implant is that it supports the jaw. The jawbone stays strong, which promotes oral health with aging. Implants look good and function like real teeth. They have a substantial lifespan. The main drawback of a dental implant is the multi-stage surgery that’s required. This will necessitate long healing time, and careful care to avoid any complications.
Many patients opt for a dental bridge because the procedure is safe, quick, and easy. Often, it can be completed in two or three clinic visits. Installing a dental bridge is less costly than an implant.
The main disadvantage of a bridge is that the bone tissue below a crown could cause instability. Most dental crowns require replacement after about 7 to 10 years (with proper maintenance).
Bridges and implants at the Mackenzie Dental Centre
At the Mackenzie Dental Centre, Dr. Lloyd Pedvis and his dental team provide a comfortable and stress-free environment for a wide range of dental procedures. Providing dentistry for the entire family, Dr. Pedvis can offer valuable advice on the pros and cons of bridges and implants.
In a clinic environment that is both caring and attentive, Dr. Pedvis offers a wide range of dental services - from regular dental examinations; to comprehensive early diagnosis; to solution-based patient treatment. The Mackenzie Dental Centre also offers patient-friendly clinic hours.