Implants vs Bridges. Which do I choose?
Are missing teeth getting in the way of your favourite meal, posing for photographs with friends, or causing all of your other teeth to start shifting out of place? Getting dental implants or bridges can save you the embarrassment of a gap in your smile…but which one is best for you?
In the past, dental bridges were almost always the go-to method for replacing missing teeth. That being said, they rely on the fact that there is a healthy tooth on either side of the missing one, so that those teeth can be crowned and support the pontic, which is “bridging” between them.
Fortunately, even longer bridges can be used to replace 3 or 4 teeth at a time…but only when they’re anchored on top of dental implants. When natural teeth are used for support, the bridge can only replace 1-2 missing teeth at a time.
Taking care of your bridge is very important in order to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Special hygiene aids will allow you to clean under and around it, so that the supporting teeth do not develop disease or decay.
Instead of relying on neighbouring teeth to replace a tooth, dental implants function independently from the teeth around them. Each artificial root is strong enough to support a single crown, or paired with other implant to anchor a bridge or denture in place. In theory, as few as four to eight implants can support a prosthesis that replaces all of the upper or lower teeth at one time.
While initially investing in dental implants may cost slightly more than getting a bridge, you get more return on your investment. Over 98% of implants last for the life of the patient, where bridges only last about a decade. In the long run, you’re paying for fewer treatments because the implants can last forever. They’re also very easy to care for…just brush and floss them like regular teeth.
When you visit Empress Walk Dental (in North York) about your tooth replacement needs, one of our dentists will help you make an educated decision about whether or not implants or a bridge is your best option. Don’t hesitate. Call today!