implant or bridge

Replacing a Missing Tooth – Implant or Bridge?

implant or bridgeBloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA

When patients come to our office in search of tooth replacement options, we often discuss the options of a dental implant and a bridge. At first glance, patients will be drawn to choosing a dental bridge instead of an implant, simply because of the cost difference.

We are here to tell you that cost isn’t always the best way of choosing your dental care. Value plays a significant role, or at least we think it should, when choosing how to replace a missing tooth. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each, as well as some downsides, that you should explore when considering a tooth replacement option.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant consists of three parts, a titanium post, an abutment, and a crown. The procedure involves several visits to the dentist, and a lengthy healing period of about 6 months. But, we are certain you will find the results to be worth the wait.

At the first appointment, we surgically place the post (implant) into the jawbone. After this step, we need to allow the bone to heal to ensure the implant’s stability. When you come back for the second appointment, impressions of your bite and mouth will be made and sent to the lab to fabricate your crown. At the third appointment the dentist will permanently bond the crown to the abutment that attaches at the top of the implant post.

A dental implant is the closest you will come to having your natural tooth back. The implant is resistant to decay, and is strong enough to last a lifetime. However, a dental implant may not be ideal for every patient. Certain pre-existing conditions or oral health concerns may prevent one’s candidacy for an implant.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge essentially bridges the gap of a missing tooth by using a single unit in which crowns fits over the two teeth that reside on either side of the space, with a “pontic” in the middle. The single unit looks like three dental crowns fused together as one solid piece, yet still has the appearance of three separate teeth.

The procedure involves two appointments, one in which the dentist prepares the two teeth that will receive crowns, and impressions are also taken during this appointment. The dental lab will use these impressions to fabricate your dental bridge. At the second appointment, the dental bridge is permanently bonded to your teeth.

A dental bridge, although a viable tooth replacement option, may only last an average of 10 years, so it will likely need to be replaced a time or two during your lifetime. Plus, the two teeth holding the bridge bear a higher risk of developing tooth decay, especially if strict oral hygiene efforts are not practiced.

Choosing between a dental implant or a bridge may be a difficult decision for some. To find out which option is best for you please contact the office of Hamilton Dental Care. During your consultation the dentist will consider your oral health concerns, and help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

To schedule a consultation, contact Hamilton Dental Care today by calling (570) 387-0533.

Hamilton Dental Care is here to serve patients in the communities of Bloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA.

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