If you go to a general dentist who doesn’t work with implants, they may recommend that you replace a missing tooth with a fixed porcelain bridge. However, a periodontist may look at the same tooth replacement case and recommend a dental implant. Bridges and implants both offer effective restorations, but their specific benefits are different enough that one treatment may be more appropriate for your exact case.
Dental implants are a quality restorative treatment, but many insurance plan providers consider them to be a cosmetic dental treatment. As such, this treatment is not often covered by insurance. If you are pursuing this treatment, you would need to be prepared for higher out-of-pocket costs than you would with a bridge.
As a dental restoration with a longer history of proven results, porcelain bridges are typically covered under an insurance plan. If affordability is one of the most important factors for you when considering treatment, a bridge might be the option that you need.
Thoroughness of Restoration
Dental implants do more than restore the missing tooth. They also address jaw bone resorption, a common and long-term side effect of tooth loss.
The jaw bone will shrink without tooth roots to support. Bridges and other traditional restorations do not interact with the jaw; they do not have any impact on this resorption process. On the other hand, implants give the jaw a new root to support and so prevent the resorption process from accelerating.
The first step in replacing teeth with implants is to surgically place an implant post into the jaw. This step is critical because the post, which acts like an artificial tooth root, is what gives an implant its effectiveness. If surgical care is not a beneficial option for you, then you cannot have your tooth replaced with an implant. In contrast, the only preparation bridges require is placing a pair of crowns on existing teeth. This restoration is the better choice for patients who would not have the implant surgery.
Protection of Remaining Teeth
Bridges rely on the natural teeth neighboring the site of tooth loss for support. As such, in order to replace a tooth missing from the smile with a bridge, healthy teeth may have to be permanently altered.
Dental implants do not affect the healthy structures of the mouth when they restore your smile. The new teeth roots allow each implant restoration to be independently supported. Your remaining teeth stay healthy and untouched when you use an implant.
Contact Us for Restorative Dental Care
Center for Adult Dental Care provides restorative dentistry in Burlington, Lexington, and Woburn. We offer both porcelain bridges and dental implant placement and restoration, giving you more options for replacing a missing tooth. For more information, call us and schedule an appointment today!