At LIFESmiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide tooth replacement options to patients who are missing one or more missing teeth. Two of the most common dental services that we offer in our practice for tooth replacement are dental bridges and dental implants. Often, patients will need to choose between the two when they need to replace a tooth. While both options can effectively replace your missing tooth, learn the differences between these two tooth replacement options below:
Dental bridges utilize the support of your surrounding teeth to hold a prosthetic tooth in place of a missing tooth. They literally bridge the gap in your smile caused by the missing tooth. Dental bridges may put additional strain on the surrounding teeth, which is why we often recommend that patients support their surrounding teeth with dental crowns. Dental bridges do not require a surgical procedure like dental implants do, and they also do not have as long of a healing time. However, dental bridges have fully external hardware, meaning they are not protected by your own soft tissues like dental implants are. This means that you will need to make some lifestyle adjustments to ensure no damage to the bridge hardware occurs. Patients will need to be taught how to brush around and beneath the dental bridge to get rid of food residue caught in there. Additionally, patients with dental bridges should avoid excessively crunchy or chewy foods because of the increased risk for dental damages. The dental bridge procedure is usually completed in two appointments.
Dental implants are considered the premier option for tooth replacement. This is because they have a very high patient satisfaction rating. Dental implants utilize the support of a surgically implanted titanium post which is allowed to fuse together with your jawbone and provides your implant with tooth-root functionality. It typically takes anywhere from 6-11 months for the dental implant procedure to complete because it takes a while for your jaw to heal around the post. However, once healed, this post will give you a restored tooth that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth. Patients with dental implants do not have to worry about the dietary restrictions or oral hygiene hazards associated with dental bridges. If you are interested in learning more about your tooth replacement options, please schedule an appointment with LIFESmiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, your dentist in Boise, ID. We look forward to helping you restore your smile!