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Choosing between a Dental Implant and a Dental Bridge

The world of dentistry has come a long way from when George Washington had false teeth. Although history commonly suggests that his were wooden, experts suggest that they were actually “gold, ivory, lead, human, and animal teeth.”

Today if you need dental care due to the loss of a tooth, your options are more durable and comfortable as well as safe.

Dental Bridges Safe Way to Replace Lost Teeth

According to history, dental prosthetics were once made from materials that we wouldn’t dream of putting in our mouths today. Can you imagine wearing a mouthful of lead? Instead, today crowns and bridges made of composite materials such as porcelain and metal alloy provide a safe fix for lost or damaged teeth.

Dental bridges replace one or more missing teeth by filling the gap between your natural teeth. It begins when your dental professional grinds down the natural teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge. Your dental professional then places a crown on these two supporting teeth connected by a bridge of false teeth to fill in the gap.

Dental bridges are a great way to restore your smile as well as your ability to speak and chew. Additionally, they maintain the integrity of your face and keep your other teeth from shifting out of position.

However, while they generally are less expensive than dental implants, there are other things they cannot offer.

Dental Implants Offer Benefits Dental Bridge Cannot

Dental implants look and function like your natural teeth just like dental bridges do. However, they provide additional benefits not offered by dental bridges.

The first is osseointegration. In short, unlike dental bridges that rest on top of your gum, your dental professional embeds dental implants into your jawbone. This integration keeps your jawbone from shrinking. Ultimately, a shrinking jawbone can result in facial collapse, especially as you age.

Secondly, dental implants don’t require your dental professional to reduce surrounding teeth. That means you can retain more of your natural teeth. Additionally, with less impact on your remaining natural teeth, you’re less likely to develop other dental problems such as tooth breakage, a gum or pulp infection, or additional pain. Overall, dental implants improve your long-term oral health.

Choice of Dental Implants or Bridge is Up to You

The only way to determine if you’re a good candidate for a dental implant or a dental bridge is to speak with your dental professional. It will depend greatly on your specific dental needs, dental history, and finances.

Most dental insurance plans do not cover dental implants. Make sure to ask your dental professional for a complete breakdown of all the costs. Know all your options before you choose.

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