Dental Restorations: Bridges -vs- Implants

Dental Restorations: Bridges -vs- Implants

Conventional bridges -vs- dental implants

Why dental implants are better than conventional bridges

Patients are increasingly opting for dental implants over conventional prostheses such as dentures or permanent bridges. Implants offer a number of reasons, both physically and aesthetically, they are superior to older restoration options. Since implants sit securely in the jaw bone, and not glued to adjoining teeth, they offer superior durability and look completely natural at the same time.

Three major categories of restorations still compete with implant option for tooth replacement:

Bonded dental bridge

Bonded dental bridges use the teeth adjacent to the empty space to help support the missing tooth by using a very thin piece of metal or tooth-colored material to overlay and bond to the back of the adjacent teeth. A tooth replacement is set between these two bonded pieces in order to fill in the empty space. Failure rate is about 25 percent after just five years of use.

Cantilevered dental bridge

A cantilevered restoration uses the closest tooth next to the empty space to support the missing tooth using the either the back of the neighboring tooth or a full crown to help support the missing tooth. Success rate is higher than with a bonded bridge depending on how much pressure the actual replacement endures due to grinding and normal wear.

Conventional dental bridge

This type of restoration uses crowns on the teeth next to the empty space that are hooked together to help support the missing tooth. Unfortunately conventional dental bridges predictably fail at a range from 20 percent over 3 years to 3 percent over 23 years.

Compare to the (ceramic) Dental implant

A dental implant is created from a high performance material (zirconium oxide) that is inserted into the bone to act like a natural tooth-root. Due to its nonmetallic construction the ceramic dental implant does not interfere with the body’s immune or meridian systems and therefore does not create a potential for rejection. Once anchored into the jaw, the implant integrates directly into the bone to give firm support to the artificial replacement that it is built to hold and should last the lifetime of a patient.

Routine maintenance of a dental implant is exactly the same as a person would follow for normal teeth.

Healthy patients prefer implants

Patients who prefer dental implants say that they are more comfortable and provide a more secure fit than fixed bridges or removable dentures. Dentures tend to make a person feel and look older. They can cause embarrassment in social situations when they slip and click, and hamper the everyday pleasure of eating comfortably.

Reasons to consider a ceramic dental implant:

• preserves healthy natural surrounding teeth

• looks and feels like natural teeth

• enhances a sense of self-confidence when eating, talking and smiling

• no gooey denture adhesives to deal with

• no embarrassingly loose dentures

• improves quality of speech

• perfectly natural comfort and fit

Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth may be a candidate for implants. If more than a few of the teeth are missing, implants in supporting a crown or bridge can replace those teeth and function as normal teeth without concern for decay. If all or most of the teeth are missing, then implants may be placed to fix in place a full-mouth fixture.

Considering the overall advantages patients can expect to benefit from as a result of choosing a dental implant, they are better able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle without the restrictions many denture wearers face. Ultimately, not worrying about dentures becoming loose or falling out when speaking or eating offers a freedom that simply makes sense. The more secure foundation offered by a dental implant improves biting pressure, making it possible to enjoy the foods that a patient probably would not be able to using a dental prosthetic. With improved chewing ability it is more likely for a person to have a better diet and therefore improved overall healthfulness.

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