If you have a missing tooth, you have two primary options for tooth replacement. You can choose between a dental implant or a dental bridge, and each is associated with its own set of pros and cons. In this blog post, Rohnert Park dentist Dr. Wayne Sutton discusses the differences between the two options.
The Benefits of Implants
Implants are the more permanent of the two options, as the titanium post used to support the crown actually fuses into the jawbone (this process is known as osseointegration). Many people choose implants over bridges for the following reasons:
- Low Maintenance – Once high-quality implants have been successfully installed, they can last a lifetime.
- Promote Jaw Health – Since implants become fused to your jawbone, they stimulate natural bone growth, keeping bone loss and jawbone deterioration at bay.
- Aesthetically Pleasing – Implants look just like your other teeth. They make your smile appear natural, and have a positive impact on your oral health as you age.
While dental implants may seem like the obvious solution, dental bridges in Rohnert Park are another viable option for replacing your lost tooth. For starters, bridges generally cost significantly less than implants. They are much quicker and easier to install, and do not require the surgery and healing time that implants demand. However, bridges rely heavily on the teeth surrounding the gap, and the process of fusing the bridge to the existing teeth may weaken them over time. The resulting wear and tear means that bridges have a significantly shorter lifespan than implants, needing to be replaced every 5-10 years.
The Big Decision
While bridges are initially more affordable than implants, the need to replace them far more frequently makes them more expensive in the long run. Implants are a more permanent solution that keep your jaw and surrounding teeth healthier over time. They do not damage your natural teeth, and they continue to stimulate bone growth and oral health. Luckily, insurance plans are starting to cover some or all of the costs of implants, making them a more accessible option.
Only your dentist in Rohnert Park can help you reach an informed decision about whether dental implants or dental bridges are right for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wayne Sutton, call Sonoma Smiles at (707) 585-2555.
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(All photos of actual patients)