Tooth loss can happen due to untreated periodontal disease, traumatic accidents, or because of simple dental neglect. Fortunately, tooth loss does not have to be permanent. Oral surgeons can provide several advanced options for long-lasting tooth replacement, allowing you to enjoy full function and a confident smile.
Dental implants and dental bridges are two of the most common tooth replacement options. While both can be effective, implants are universally regarded as the gold standard. For the vast majority of patients, implants offer a much better option.
Understanding the Options for Tooth Replacement
A dental implant is a small post, typically made from titanium, surgically inserted into the jawbone, acting as an artificial replacement for your natural tooth root. Once fused with the jawbone, the implant provides a stable anchor for a custom prosthesis (a replacement tooth designed to look and behave just like your natural teeth).
Dental bridges get their name because they literally “bridge” the gap left in your smile by a missing tooth. The placement of a dental bridge requires two healthy, adjacent teeth to be shaved down, as each tooth is used to hold the bridge in place. The bridge provides a natural-looking replacement tooth that can restore your confident smile. Unlike implants, however, bridges do not replace the underlying tooth root.
Why Choose Dental Implants Over Dental Bridges?
Implants have largely replaced traditional bridgework, emerging as standard-of-care for tooth replacement. Here’s why:
Dental Implants Preserve Your Jawbone
Your jawbone requires constant stimulation from the tooth root. Without that stimulation, the bone will eventually atrophy (shrink), leading to unwanted changes to your facial appearance and dental restoration complications. Dental implants actually replace your tooth root, providing ongoing stimulation that prevents jaw degradation, thus preventing changes to your facial appearance. No other tooth replacement method, including bridges, can do this.
Dental Implants Protect Your Healthy Teeth
Getting dental implants placed does not require you to shave or remove any healthy teeth, and dental implants allow you to keep your one-tooth problem as a one-tooth problem. By contrast, in order to place a dental bridge, your dentist will need to shave healthy teeth, compromising their long-term integrity.
Dental Implants Last Longer
Dental implants are considered permanent, assuming you care for them with the right oral hygiene practices. While the crown on top of your implant may one day need periodic replacements, the implant itself should last a very long time. Bridges are only temporary and usually must be replaced every 5-7 years.
Discover Your Options for Dental Replacement in Basking Ridge, NJ
If you have lost one or more teeth or anticipate needing teeth extracted, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. Learn more about dental implant placement in Basking Ridge, NJ, from Ridge Oral Surgery & Dental Implants.