Computers and technology are not the only things that have advanced rapidly in the past few decades. Treatments for broken, decaying, and missing teeth have also made a leap, with options ranging from fillings that maintain the natural appearance of the tooth to complete replacements. When it comes to complete replacements, a patient often has the choice between dental implants and dental bridges. So what is the difference and which, if either, is better?
Am I A Candidate for Dental Implants?
Of the two, the dental bridge is the procedure that has been used the longest. A bridge is formed by two or more crowns placed on both sides of the gap where the decayed tooth previously was. A false tooth, generally made of gold, porcelain, or a combination of materials, is placed between the two crowns. The three pieces are then sealed together with a cement-like mixture.
A dental implant is a little more complex, but in its simplest description, a dental implant is a replacement root with a tooth on top. It is more advanced because it is one, seamless piece instead of three separate pieces as a bridge is. It is placed into the root where the former decayed tooth and root previously were and, over time, the gums will form around it. While the tooth is fake, it feels and acts like a real tooth.
This is why, for many, the dental implant is better when they have to replace an entire tooth. The biggest strength of the dental implant is that it is a single piece that is easy to clean and acts exactly the same as the previous tooth did. The three pieces of the dental bridge can be tough to clean, especially since the bond between the three pieces can never be perfect, which means that bacteria can get in between the pieces.
The biggest downside of the dental implant is that a relatively serious surgery is required to put them in. You will have to care for them post-op, which requires an entire process all its own, and they can develop peri-implant disease if not maintained properly after placement.
Dental Implants with Ferrin Periodontics
Ultimately the choice between the two is up to you and your dental surgeon, with your dentist taking into consideration as much as possible about your health in general. Dr. John Ferrin specialized is dental implants and creating beautiful smiles. If you would like to learn more about either service, contact us today at either our Medford, OR office or our Grants Pass, OR office.