April 24, 2024

An ideal solution for replacing missing teeth typically entails comparing dental bridges and implants. Each provides distinct advantages that can notably improve both your oral health and the look of your smile. Understanding the variations between the two is essential for evaluating which suits your dental needs, personal lifestyle, and budget. Consulting a Knoxville dentist in IL is key to making this important decision.

Knoxville dentist IL holding a dental bridge

Dental Bridges Versus Implants

Dental Bridges: Bridging the Gap

Dental bridges have long been a reliable method for restoring gaps caused by missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth, known as pontics, which are securely anchored by dental crowns on the adjacent natural teeth. Here's a more detailed look at why they could be the solution you're seeking:

  • Less Invasive: Dental bridges typically don't require surgery, so the procedure is less invasive than dental implants. This can be particularly advantageous for patients who may be apprehensive about undergoing surgical procedures or for those who have medical conditions that preclude them from having surgery.
  • Quicker Procedure: Bridges can be a practical option if you want a swift solution to missing teeth. Since there’s no need for surgery or the lengthy healing time associated with implants, bridges can often be completed in just a few weeks.
  • Cost-Effective: Regarding initial costs, bridges are generally more affordable than implants. They don't require the same extensive preparatory procedures, such as bone grafting, which can add to the cost of implants.

However, it's important to note the potential downsides of bridges. They typically have a lifespan of 5 to 15 years, after which they may need to be replaced.  

The process of fitting a bridge requires the adjacent teeth to be filed down to support the crowns, which could compromise the health of otherwise healthy teeth and potentially lead to a need for more dental work in the future.

Dental Implants: A Secure Solution

Dental implants are a robust and enduring option for replacing missing teeth. Treatment involves surgically placing a titanium post into the jawbone, effectively replicating a tooth's root. The post serves as a sturdy foundation for the crown to stand in for the absent tooth. Here's why implants are often considered the superior choice:

  • Longevity: When maintained with proper oral hygiene, dental implants can last for decades or even a lifetime, outperforming bridges in terms of durability.
  • Bone Health: One of the standout benefits of dental implants is their ability to preserve and stimulate the natural bone, fostering bone growth and preventing bone loss.
  • Natural Feel: Implants are the closest you can get to natural teeth in terms of feel and function.

However, implants are not without their challenges. They require a period of healing that can last several months, during which the jawbone grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.  

The cost of dental implants can be significantly higher than bridges, and they involve a surgical procedure that may not be suitable for all patients, especially those with inadequate bone density without a bone graft.

patient smiling after seeing her Knoxville dentist IL

Need Help from a Knoxville Dentist in IL?

Consulting with a dental professional at Smalltown Dental will help clarify which option best suits your individual needs. We provide personalized, compassionate care to help you make the most informed decisions for your dental health. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take the next step toward restoring your beautiful smile.

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