17 March 2023
Broken, damaged, or missing teeth can affect anyone at any point in life. When chipped or missing teeth have caused you to hide your smile away, it may be time to seek a solution.
Two of the most popular treatments for these concerns are dental implants and dental bridges. While dental implants and bridges can both resolve your missing or damaged teeth, implants may be a better option for most patients.
Dental implants can offer several advantages over dental bridges.
Dental implants are a common treatment used to replace broken or missing teeth. A dental implant uses a small titanium post to fuse an artificial tooth to your existing jawbone.
Once the titanium fully integrates the new tooth with the surrounding bone, you have a stable and secure replacement. Dental implants present benefits such as:
- A full, complete smile
- A stronger, well-aligned bite
- Enhanced smile appearance
- Restoration of the jaw and facial structure
- Improved oral health overall
Dental implants can be used to resolve a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. Each patient’s implants are custom-made to match the shade and size of their existing teeth as closely as possible. This results in a full, natural-looking smile.
All-on-4® Dental Implants
The All-on-4® treatment concept uses a specific type of dental implant that can be used to address multiple missing teeth at one time. These implants can restore an entire row of teeth with as few as four titanium posts securing them to the jawbone and surrounding tissues.
They are a great option for patients with advanced dental concerns that have impacted most or all of their teeth.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for dental implants is someone who has one or more teeth that need to be replaced. These may be missing teeth or ones that are severely damaged and will be removed prior to the implant procedure.
Candidates should have stable oral health, without serious dental disease present. There must also be sufficient jawbone remaining for the implants to integrate with. If there is jawbone deterioration, a bone grafting procedure may be necessary before your implants are placed.
Dental bridges are another popular way to resolve missing teeth. A dental bridge is a restoration piece that is put in place where teeth are missing. This piece is then attached to the adjacent teeth to anchor the bridge in place. Bridges are often used to replace multiple missing teeth at one time.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?
Good candidates for dental bridges are those who have one or more missing teeth and cannot have implants placed. Certain medical conditions or present dental issues may make it difficult to place implants. These patients often opt for a dental bridge as an alternative.
Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges: Which Is Better?
Both dental implants and dental bridges can replace missing teeth and restore a complete smile. When it comes to achieving your full smile, dental implants offer certain advantages over a dental bridge. Three of the most significant reasons implants may be a better solution than a bridge include:
Dental implants are often made with titanium, which is more durable than the materials used for dental bridges. Most bridges are made with acrylic or porcelain. These materials can break down over time or incur damage from impact, such as chewing on hard candies.
The titanium used in dental implants provides more strength, giving them much more longevity than a dental bridge.
A More Natural Look
Another advantage of dental implants is their appearance. Everyone who gets replacement teeth wants their artificial teeth to look as natural as possible. Dental implants are custom-made to match the shape and size of the surrounding teeth, and this creates the most natural look for the entire smile.
No Damage to Surrounding Teeth
One of the main things that set implants apart from bridges is how they are placed and fixed inside the mouth.
Implants are fused to the jawbone and surrounding tissues, while bridges are attached to the surrounding teeth. In some cases, this can do damage to the existing natural teeth and lead to larger issues. Implants do not impact the surrounding natural teeth because they are rooted at the jawbone.
Lower Chance of Decay
A lower chance of tooth decay is an additional benefit of choosing dental implants. When dental implants are placed, they are integrated through the gums and existing jawbone. Any present dental issues must be amended before implants can be placed.
Dental bridges are not attached to the jaw or gumline at all. Any concerns affecting these tissues may go unnoticed and unaddressed when a bridge is placed.
Since dental implants can be customized to meet each patient’s needs, they offer more versatility than a dental bridge. When a bridge is placed, it is one singular unit. Dental implants are placed as singular pieces that can be amended one at a time, if necessary.
This allows for more versatility when treating the teeth. The only exception to this is All-on-4® implants, which are placed as whole sets on the top and bottom rows of your teeth.
Learn More About Dental Implants
The best way to find out whether dental implants or a dental bridge is right for you is by having a consultation with an oral surgeon. At The Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center of South Louisiana, Dr. Joshua S. Brandner provides dental implant treatment. This includes individual dental implants and All-on-4® implants.
We go above and beyond to make every patient feel like family, ensuring they receive the best care possible. Each person who walks through our doors is treated with the utmost care and concern, with our entire staff striving to meet their needs.
Learn more about dental implant treatment from The OMS Center of South Louisiana.