It's important to fill in any missing spaces in your teeth for more than just cosmetic purposes. Your teeth all depend on pressure from surrounding teeth to remain in place. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to move around and feel loose. That, in turn, can lead to decay and gum disease. When it comes to how to replace a missing tooth, you have options. Unless you need a full mouth of teeth and are considering dentures, a dental bridge or an implant might be right for you. For a comparison of the two, read on.
Implants: More Expensive But More Worry-Free Too
Dental implants involve a bit of preparation and some minor surgery, but they can last for many, many years. They look and feel just like your natural teeth and you can generally care for them just as you do your normal teeth. While dental implants cost more upfront, they generally make up for it by lasting so long that few people ever have to have them replaced. Once your implants have been in place for a while, you can eat and drink whatever you want without having to worry about anything damaging your implants.
Implants, though, must be anchored to a sturdy jawbone, and some people don't have enough bone mass in their jaws to support the posts that will hold the false tooth on top. In that case, bone graft surgery may be necessary. The entire implant process can take longer than bridges do too. New ways of making implants possible in a day have become popular. The posts are shorter so the bone doesn't have to be as strong, and that means no bone grafting. However, this type of implant may not be as long-lasting as traditional ones.
Bridges: Budget-Friendly and Non-Invasive
As long as the neighboring teeth are good, a bridge could be the perfect solution. A bridge is formed by resting a false tooth between two natural teeth. The three teeth are connected with wires in the back. In teeth near the front, there is a possibility that the wires could be visible to others, so bridges may be more appropriate for missing back teeth. The process for having a bridge inserted is pretty simple and quick. Your false tooth is created to closely match the missing tooth in shape and shade, so you will need to wait a week or so for it to be made at the dental lab. Cleaning around a bridge takes more dedication and care than caring for an implant, and you might have to occasionally have the wires redone or the false tooth replaced. However, dental bridges are far less expensive than an implant.
To find out more, speak to your dentist.