Tag Archives: dental bridges

How Dental Bridges and Implants Can Help Your Smile

Is your smile not what it used to be? Both bridges and implants can improve the look and feel of your smile and can even bring back the functionality you thought you lost.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge can transform your smile by replacing one or more missing teeth. They’re strong enough to replace incisors, canines, and even molars as long as there are adjacent healthy teeth to serve as anchors. Bridges also come in a variety of materials but are most often made of porcelain or ceramic to mimic the natural color and feel of your teeth.

A dental bridge comprises three main parts: a prosthetic tooth, called a pontic, and two attached crowns to be fitted over your existing healthy teeth. These connected pieces “bridge” the gap left by your missing tooth. Once it’s cemented, it’s permanent, and your ability to chew, speak, and rest your jaw comfortably should improve.

What Are Dental Implants?

According to the American College of Prosthodontics, an estimated 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. If you’re someone who has experienced tooth loss, dental implants might be the right fit to fill the space. Like a dental bridge, implants are comprised of three main parts:

  • The implant, which is screwed into the jaw to serve as the root of your replacement tooth.
  • The abutment, which permanently supports the new tooth or teeth.
  • The crown, or prosthetic tooth, that’s visible above the gum line, which is typically made with porcelain to remain durable and to mimic the look and feel of a real tooth.

How Are Bridges and Implants Used?

Despite their similarities, dental bridges and dental implants are used for different reasons. Unlike bridges, dental implants don’t have to rely on neighboring healthy teeth for support. Because they’re screwed directly into the jaw, they can stand on their own to replace a single tooth. However, implants require specific jaw bone density for bone grafting, which makes this procedure unsuitable for heavy smokers or drinkers.

On the contrary, dental bridges can permanently repair your smile in just two dental visits without being screwed into your jawbone. At the first appointment, your dentist will prepare your anchor teeth, take dental impressions, and cement a temporary bridge while you wait for the lab to create your custom fit. Then, at your second appointment, the dentist will ensure a comfortable fit of the permanent bridge before cementing it in place. Once it’s set, you and your new smile are ready to take on the day.

How Can They Improve a Smile?

Both dental bridges and implants can improve your smile and restore functionality. Once you and your dentist decide on the best option, you can look forward to eating foods you love, speaking more clearly, breathing easier, and restoring your face shape.

If you suffer from damaged, missing, weakened, or chipped teeth, Carolina Family Dentistry can help you restore your smile and improve your well-being.

The Pros and Cons of Teeth Implants

Dental implants are one solution for replacing missing teeth — whether they were lost due to disease or were broken in an accident. You might be wondering what goes on when you get dental implants. Implant dentistry has its pros and cons, like almost every other dental procedure, and it is essential to understand the risks and benefits before making your decision.

The Pros:

  • Teeth Implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, unlike bridges. This allows the adjacent teeth to remain untouched versus being shaped down for a bridge. Replacement implant teeth support themselves, and you won’t have to worry about your other teeth being disrupted.
  • Dental implants look and function like real teeth. You won’t hear clicking noises or have issues with chewing or speaking, unlike traditional dentures. Also, the implants will match your natural teeth and you cannot remove them (unless the implants are being used to stabilize dentures).
  • You can care for your implants the same way you would your natural teeth. Meaning, you won’t have to worry about buying unique products or devices to keep them clean and healthy. Oral health is just as important when you have dental implants, but your dental care budget should stay the same after your mouth has healed. We recommend Waterpik type devices for natural teeth and implants.
  • Dental implants can be as durable and stable as natural teeth but must be cared for properly- they can last up to 20 years and even longer. Dental implants are mostly made of titanium and are safe for your mouth.

The Cons:

  • Getting teeth implants can require multiple steps; it could take about six months just for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. You can read more about the steps by clicking here.
  • You are at risk of infection. Bacteria is the cause of infections in natural teeth as well as dental implants and you could be at risk of Periodontal Disease. Although this is not common, it is still a risk to consider.
  • Dental implant procedures can require additional procedures, including a bone graft and or sinus lift if adequate bone is not present. While these procedures are not always necessary, it is something to take into consideration.
  • You must meet specific requirements to go forward with the procedure. If you don’t have enough jaw bone density and are ineligible for bone grafting, you are a heavy drinker or smoker, or your gums are not healthy enough to support the implant, you are likely unsuitable for the procedure.
  • Even if your dental insurance covers teeth implants, you may still have to pay for a portion of your procedure. Dental implants can be a significant investment, so it is crucial to research what your insurance covers so you know if you can afford to cover the difference. We are happy to discuss missing tooth replacement options including dental implants.

If you are interested in getting dental implants after reading this post, contact us today for a consultation to see if this procedure is right for you and your smile.