As a Huntington Beach restorative dentist, we are often asked if a patient should get a dental bridge or dental implant to replace one or several missing teeth. Both solutions are highly effective and as a 92647 cosmetic dentist we can make them look entirely natural. When determining which solution you should use, you will want to consider the main differences of how they are placed, the timeframe, and the cost. We can provide you with more information when you visit us for a consultation. In the meantime, here are the basics of what you should know.
A dental bridge is placed using your other natural teeth as support. A dental implant is secured directly into your jawbone. This is essentially the key difference between the two.
In order to place a dental bridge, we need to identify two natural teeth around the one that is missing. These teeth must be strong enough to support the gum-like base and new teeth. In order to complete the process, we will place dental crowns around these adjoining teeth and the crowns will become anchors for the dental bridge. This is a highly effective procedure that is a good alternative to a removable partial denture. The only challenge is that your other teeth will be permanently altered in order to have dental crowns placed around them. For this reason, we encourage our Huntington Beach patients that are able, to consider dental implants.
Alternatively, dental implants are placed surgically. In this procedure, a small titanium post is implanted under the surface of the gums and secured to the jawbone. The body reacts to titanium like it does to natural matter and will begin to deposit bone around it. This is the process of osseointegration and it makes an implant as secure as a natural tooth would be. Once this step is complete, we can secure a replacement tooth (dental crown) to an abutment that is attached to the actual implant. As a restorative dentist, we often recommend this procedure because a dental implant can actually work to strengthen the jawbone through the additional stimulation it provides.
If you need to have a dental restoration quickly, you may need to wear a temporary denture since both dental implants and a dental bridge take several appointments to complete. However, since implants are placed surgically and we need to wait for osseointegration to take place, it generally takes several months for the process to complete – much longer than a dental bridge.
Given the complexity of the procedure, dental implants tend to be more costly than a dental bridge. They also last longer, are more durable, and give you a more natural appearance along with increased functionality. Essentially, they are a better long-term solution. However, if you are a on a budget, a dental bridge can give you the functionality that you are looking for along with a natural appearance when created by a skilled cosmetic dentist.
To learn more about dental implants or a dental bridge call our Huntington Beach, CA cosmetic dentist office. As a restorative dentist, Beach City Dental can examine you, discuss your goals and let you know which solution is likely to produce the best results for your smile. You can schedule an appointment by calling (714) 898-2517.