At Dynamic Smile Design, Dr. Elena C. Puig and our team are committed to improving our patients’ oral health and restoring a beautiful smile. It can be difficult to experience tooth loss or have missing teeth because your confidence may be impacted by your smile. It can also be a detriment to your overall health, as you may confront a greater risk for bone loss, crooked teeth, gum disease, improper bite, jaw disorders, and further tooth loss.
As it is important to receive a proper replacement tooth or teeth, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with Dr. Puig in order to receive an evaluation and to discuss specific treatment options. Meanwhile, it can be beneficial to understand the different types of solutions that may be available to you. Two of the most common and popular choices for teeth replacement are dental implants and dental bridges.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial foundation that replaces the root of a tooth. A metal rod is installed into your jawbone to provide a stable, immovable base which your bone and gums will naturally grow around over a certain period of time. After this occurs, a crown or a bridge will be placed onto the post, restoring a natural and color-matched smile.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is one or a series of artificial teeth held in place by healthy teeth or implants. There are multiple ways to install a dental bridge, depending on the number and position of remaining natural teeth or installed implants. A traditional dental bridge is placed by attaching either end, the caps, onto healthy and reliable teeth that have been shaved down to allow the bridge to fit properly; this can also be accomplished with bonded bridges that will attach to the nearby healthy teeth with color-matched wings rather than caps. Alternatively, a cantilever bridge can be installed by only attaching one side, if there are missing teeth on the side of the gap where it would traditionally be attached.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be an excellent solution for many patients, providing a natural-looking and natural-feeling tooth or teeth. They also have many other benefits, such as:
- Personalized color, shape, and size. Dr. Puig and the Dynamic Smile Design team will design implants that complement the surrounding teeth, perfectly fit into the gap created by your missing teeth and ensure that they feel comfortable and natural to your specific eating and speaking patterns.
- As dental implants are installed carefully into your jawbone, typically with a titanium rod, you will enjoy a stable and secure fit.
- Long-Lasting. Dental implants may last up to a lifetime, and the crowns can last up to 15 years with proper oral care and regular dental visits. They are one of the longest lasting teeth replacement options available.
- Dental implants provide the support necessary for the surrounding teeth to stay healthy and strong, as well as to maintain proper jawbone and gum health.
- Prevent against bone loss. Tooth implants restore a connection between the jaw and the tooth, allowing for jawbone stimulation when speaking or eating. In this way, the jaw is able to obtain and maintain bone mass in this area.
- Positive reaction and success rate. Dental implants are typically received by the surrounding tissues and bone incredibly well, boasting a 95% to 98% success rate.
What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?
- Dental implants take multiple procedures over a long period of time. Often, it can take around 6 months to perform the complete treatment. As such, the healing process is also quite lengthy.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are an exceptional treatment option for patients who have one or more missing teeth. They have many advantages, including:
- Custom color, shape, and size. Dr. Puig and our team will work with you to ensure your dental bridges match the rest of your teeth, and feel comfortable and natural with your specific speaking and eating patterns.
- Non-invasive. Dental bridges do not require surgically implanting hardware into your jawbone, unless you require a dental implant in order to place the dental bridge.
- Fitting and placing dental bridges are generally a quick procedure with minimal healing required. Dr. Puig and the Dynamic Smile Design team will typically be able to complete the treatment within two visits.
- Since dental bridges are attached on one or both sides to strong teeth or implants, they will stay securely in your mouth.
- Preventative against tooth shifting and crowding. As dental bridges fill up the empty space between teeth, your natural teeth will not be able to move or shift. Ultimately, this will prevent bite and jaw problems.
What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Bridges?
- Short lifespan. Dental bridges need to be replaced every 5-7 years which some patients may find impractical.
- Limited solution. Dental bridges will only replace the tooth at the surface level, but they will not restore the underlying structure of a tooth. Since this is the case, any problems that arise from missing roots will continue to advance, such as bone loss.
- Substantial stress. Since a dental bridge can attach to one or two remaining teeth, it can place a certain amount of stress on those teeth that may cause damage over time.
Are Dental Implants or Dental Bridges the Best Option?
The best way to determine if you could benefit from dental implants, dental bridges or a combination is to discuss treatment options at a consultation. Dr. Puig will provide a careful consultation, involving an examination of your teeth and assessment of your jaw structure. In this way, she will be able to make recommendations based upon your specific situation. If you are looking to restore a beautiful, natural smile and improve your oral health, contact Dynamic Smile Design and make an appointment with Dr. Puig and our team today!