Dental implants are widely considered the standard of care for patients who have experienced tooth loss, largely replacing more antiquated methods such as dental bridges. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will explain the options available to you, carefully outlining the benefits of choosing dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are rods, most often made from titanium, that are carefully secured in the jawbone, where they assume the role of artificial tooth roots. Once the implants heal and become part of your jawbone, your dentist can provide custom-made replacement teeth designed to look and behave like your natural teeth.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Meanwhile, dental bridges are so named because they literally bridge the gap left by a missing tooth. Before a bridge can be placed, the surrounding teeth must be shaved down to create space. The bridge is then cemented into place, anchored by those shaved-down teeth. A bridge can provide aesthetic restoration, but it does not replace the root itself nor support the health of your jawbone.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer several benefits that bridges cannot match.
1) Dental implants preserve your healthy teeth.
With dental implants, you do not need to have any of your healthy, neighboring teeth shaved down, which can compromise their long-term integrity. In other words, dental implants allow you to keep one-tooth problems as one-tooth problems without adversely affecting adjacent teeth. Dental implants are considered the best tooth replacement option for preserving your overall oral health.
2) Dental implants support the health of your jaw.
When you lose a tooth and do not have it immediately replaced with an implant, you may experience the deterioration of your jawbone. This is because the bone needs stimulation from a tooth root in order to remain healthy. Implants provide that simulation, making them the only tooth replacement method to protect the health of your jaw and prevent unwanted changes to your facial appearance.
3) Dental implants last longer.
Dental bridges are considered to be temporary prostheses and will need to be replaced every few years. Dental implants themselves are intended to last a lifetime, assuming you maintain high standards of oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. The dental prostheses may require replacement after a time, but the implants themselves normally do not need replacement.
Explore the Benefits of Dental Implants
There are multiple options to replace missing teeth, but for most patients, dental implants are the most advantageous solution by far. Find out more about the benefits of implants over bridges.