There are two basic areas of dentistry: cosmetic and general dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry deals with how your teeth look. General dentistry deals with how healthy and functional they are. Missing teeth is an area where the two worlds overlap. A missing tooth can be a cosmetic issue; however, it also affects how well you can eat and drink. It can also make infections more likely. For all of these reasons, you need to fill your missing teeth as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are a few options for doing this. Two of the most popular are implants and bridges. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
A dental implant is a permanent false tooth attached to into the jaw. It is the most stable type of tooth replacement. A bridge involves an artificial tooth or set of artificial teeth that are wedged between your existing teeth. The pressure of the wedging keeps them in place. Each has to be measured and shaped by a professional.
When it comes to price, bridges are the clear winner. Dental bridges often cost half the price of a dental implant. Your insurance could affect the expense, though.
Both dental bridges and dental implants are permanent. Under normal circumstances, neither one of them should come out. If you have some kind of trauma to the mouth, you could chip or dislodge your artificial teeth. That is slightly more likely with a bridge than an implant, but neither is likely. Bridges are attached to adjacent teeth; implants are implanted into the bones themselves. So, when it comes to durability, dental implants are more durable but both are permanent.
The final concern is how the different replacements look. They’re all made to look exactly like your natural teeth. A bridge is usually one piece that is designed to look like multiple teeth, but there’s not much of an actual separation between them. Implants can be made in the same style, or you can have multiple single tooth implants. Due to the ability to have individual teeth implanted, a dental implant is the winner in terms of realism. However, dental bridges look pretty natural too.
That means dental bridges are less expensive than dental implants. Dental bridges look more realistic and are slightly more durable. Either one would be a good choice. You should get in touch with a dentist for an examination and a review of your options.