What are dental bridges?
These fixed dental appliances literally "bridge" the gap that missing teeth leave. Dental bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They can only be safely removed by a dentist, since they are permanently attached to the teeth on either side of the gap - unlike dentures. They are also sometimes called "permanent partial dentures."
How to care for your dental bridges
Once a dental bridge has been installed, you'll be able to maintain it in the same way that you would clean your natural teeth. If it's properly maintained with regular brushing and flossing, your bridge should last for many years. Don't forget to see your dentist regularly.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium rod that's surgically implanted into the jaw bone to act as an artificial tooth root. We can replace missing teeth with dental implants. Titanium is a type of metal with the ability to form bonds with natural bone. This makes it a secure, stable foundation for an artificial tooth. A dental crown (cap) is then placed atop the implant to serve as the tooth's artificial replacement.
Used in conjunction, the dental crown and implant look and feel similar to a natural tooth.
How to care for your dental implants
Like with bridges, you should take care of your dental implants just like your natural teeth. This includes a strong brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist.
How do I know which option is right for me?
Dental implants and dental bridges both have their advantages, and the best option for any given person will depend on that person's oral health needs as well as his or her financial situation.
The placement of dental implants is significantly more invasive than the placement of dental bridges. However, dental implants can often appear and feel more natural than dental bridges.
In addition, for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you must have a sufficient volume of jaw bone. If you don't have enough bone in your jaw, you may still be able to get an implant, but you would need to undergo a bone grafting procedure first to confirm that the implant could be supported. As a result, the implant process would take longer and be somewhat more invasive.
At the end of the day, the only way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult with your dentist.