Implants and bridges are the most common cosmetic or restorative dental treatments for covering up the gaps. However, the two are different in procedure, function, design, and lifespan. Determining which option is ideal for you is paramount in your treatment process. In this post, our dental team outlines some of the essential features of both the implants and the pontics.
Dental implants are made of a titanium screw, a connector, and a crown. The metal screws are surgically fixed on the jawbone to offer support for the artificial teeth. Since they are placed in the jaw, the bone and implant will fuse, creating a seamless look.
Implants can last for a lifetime, but the dental crowns used may need to be replaced after a few years.
Bridges, on the other hand, are made of an artificial tooth anchored in place by two crowns. You can, however, get the bridges anchored in place by a metal framework or an implant. We will guide you in choosing the ideal dental bridge for your condition.
Bridges last between ten and 15 years, depending on your oral hygiene and practices.
Implants are a little bit restrictive as you need to be of the appropriate age, have enough jawbone density, healthy gum, and teeth free of any cavities and infection.
Bridges are not as restrictive, but you still need to have healthy teeth to support the crowns.
Dental implants need a few dental visits, and the process can last for six to nine months to be complete. The implant surgery procedure starts with a dental examination and assessment of your bone density and health of the surrounding tissues. Having enough bone density is critical to the support of the implants. If you have significant bone loss, the dentist will recommend a bone graft to stimulate the growth of a new bone. The bone graft process can take up to 12 months for the bone to regenerate.
After the assessment, the dentist drills the jaw to make room for the titanium screw. The healing process takes about four months. In this period, the bone and the implant fuse together to offer support. On your second dental consultation, the connector or abutment is fixed, and a dental impression is taken to mold the crowns.
Finally, dental crowns are either screwed or cemented in place.
Similar to implants, the bridge treatment starts with a consultation and examination. Next, the dentist numbs the gums and enamel reshaped to make room for the artificial teeth. It takes two to three weeks for the permanent dental crowns to be made. In the meantime, the dentist will cover the trimmed off teeth with temporary crowns.
On your second dental appointment, the permanent crowns are cemented in place. You need at least two to three dental visits for the treatment.
Implants are successful if done by a qualified dentist. However, a few problems may arise, such as nerve damage, infection, gum numbness, and body’s rejection of the metal posts. When the implant and the bone don’t successfully fuse, the body may reject it.
Bridges are also durable, but they can cause pain, sensitivity, infection, decay, or breakage. But, these complications occur in about one to two percent of all dental bridge cases.
Most dental insurance providers don’t cover implants and bridges, as they are regarded as cosmetic procedures. You can, however, get a claim if the dental condition required a bridge or implants. Consult with your dental insurance provider on the various dental procedures covered.
Both the implants and bridges can replace your missing teeth. The best option comes down to preference and dental conditions. If you have enough bone density, healthy teeth and gums, then the implants may be ideal, and if not, bridges will suffice.
Visit Anchorage Dental Arts for assessment and more information on implants and dental bridges.