Losing teeth can have a significant impact on the appearance of your smile while creating functionality issues.
It also can put a serious dent in your self-confidence.
Two of the most common solutions that dental professionals use to address these problems are dental implants and dental bridges.
While both approaches address the same challenges, they present very different options for you to consider.
If you are looking for the right solution for missing teeth, it’s important to understand the treatment options that are available to you.
It’s also crucial to gain an understanding of what each entails before deciding if it’s right for your specific needs.
Read on to learn what Smiles Nambour wants you to know about your options.
What is an implant?
A dental implant is as close to a complete tooth replacement as possible.
Teeth look simple, but they are complicated – their underlying structure includes ligaments, bone, and nerves, all of which begin to deteriorate when a tooth is lost.
An implant replaces the root with a metal post (root) that is allowed to integrate with the jaw, then capped with a crown. This helps to protect the surrounding structures.
What is a bridge?
A dental bridge is a lot like it sounds, artificial teeth attached to healthy teeth on either side of a gap.
In traditional versions of a crown, the teeth adjacent to the gap are shaved down to hold the bridge. There are multiple kinds of bridges, depending on the case at hand.
Which should I choose?
Normally, the particular situation of your overall dental condition and your teeth suggests the right decision.
Because each case is an individual one, it is important to choose your treatment option in consultation with Smiles Nambour.
Perhaps the most important thing to take into account when deciding between an implant and a bridge is the condition of the teeth on either side of the gap.
If those two teeth are in good shape, and everything else is equal, an implant is usually the better decision.
However, if those adjacent teeth are in poor shape – with big fillings, damage, or unattractive appearance – they probably need to be crowned, which can make a dental bridge a better decision.
Another thing that needs to be taken into account is how long the tooth has been missing. I
f a tooth has been missing for a long time, it is likely that the jawbone that once supported that tooth has thinned.
This would mean that implants would not be likely to be successful.
In that case, you would either need to undergo preparatory treatment to restore the bone, if that is even possible, before even considering an implant.
If bone grafting is required, it can push up the cost up by a substantial amount and also dramatically extend the treatment time.
Advantages of Implants
Dental implants place less burden on surrounding teeth and also reduce long-term damage to the jaw.
Some forms of bridges are quite well known for stressing the teeth they are connected to.
Also, implants can easily last a lifetime; they are the strongest and most vital tooth replacement option.
Advantages of Bridges
If a large number of teeth need to be replaced, bridges can be quite economical compared to implants, as one bridge can replace multiple teeth.
Bridges are also a quicker treatment. Implants often require oral surgery and take months to heal. In most cases, bridgework can be finished in a few weeks.
In some cases, particularly where consecutive teeth have been lost, we recommend a mixed approach.
If the back molars have been lost, for instance, an implant is placed at the back end, and a bridge can be placed between it and the next natural tooth.
The same is true if all or most teeth have been lost – implants can serve as ‘posts’ for bridges.
There isn’t one answer, and we haven’t even talked much about relative expense here as it depends so much on the particular issues with the missing teeth.
The solution is different for each patient and Smiles Nambour will be happy to consult with you as to which approach is best for you.
In consultation, we’ll decide how best to replace your missing teeth. The important thing is that you DO replace your missing teeth!
Dentistry at Smiles Nambour
Smiles Nambour is the perfect choice for dental care in the Nambour area. We provide top-notch dental services of all kinds to patients of every age! Our professional staff is dedicated to providing you with personalised, quality dental care.
Smiles Nambour offers a comprehensive array of general, restorative, and cosmetic dental services for you and your loved ones.
A visit to Smiles Nambour is an investment in your dental health and attractive smile!
Call (07) 5441 4438 or visit at 4/104 Currie St in Nambour.