Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida
If you have a missing tooth, either bridgework or a dental implant can replace the hole in your smile, and restore your chewing abilities. However, while both options serve as a tooth replacement, they are both quite different. Your cosmetic dentist in Palm Beach Gardens at PGA Smiles wants to share with you the difference between these two popular options, which may help you decide which one is right for you.
What is bridgework?
Bridgework or a dental bridge literally bridges the gap in your smile. The single unit tooth replacement is fabricated to look like three individual teeth. The teeth on the ends of the unit are actually dental crowns that are made to fit over the two teeth residing on either side of the space, with a pontic or faux tooth attached in the middle. Once seated into place, the single unit bridge will look, feel, and function similarly to a natural tooth.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks to a dental bridge. Although a bridge is thought to be cheaper on the front end, it does require two adjacent teeth to be filed down to accommodate the dental crowns that are attached. Therefore, this procedure could seem rather invasive by disturbing teeth that may not actually require dental work otherwise.
Also, bridgework does not provide stimulation to the jawbone since the pontic only touches the gum line. Therefore, the gum and bone tissue under the pontic will slowly diminish without this stimulation. While bridgework may seem more affordable on the front end, you likely will have to have it remade after every decade or so since it simply is not designed to last a lifetime.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants utilize a titanium post that is surgically implanted into your jawbone. Attached to the top of the implant is a connector piece known as an abutment that attaches a specially made crown to the top. A dental implant does not require filing down adjacent teeth, and its results will look, feel, and function more like a natural tooth than any other tooth replacement option.
A dental implant is typically more expensive on the front end, but it is designed to last a lifetime, and it provides stimulation to the jawbone to help prevent loss of bone and gum tissue over time. Good oral hygiene is imperative with a dental implant, as well as avoiding tobacco use to preserve the integrity of the implant.
Not all patients are candidates for dental implants, but a thorough assessment by your implant dentist in Jupiter at PGA Smiles can determine if a dental implant is right for you.
Replace my missing tooth in Palm Beach Gardens
Now that we have explored the two different options for replacing a single missing tooth, we invite you to our office for a consultation. During this appointment, we can assess your oral health, and discuss your smile needs to determine a treatment plan that will meet your smile goals. To get started, please call (561) 627-7090. We look forward to seeing you soon!
PGA Smiles welcomes patients of Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.