Dental bridges are fixed dental appliances that literally "bridge" the gap left by missing teeth. They are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Because they are permanently attached to the teeth on either side of the gap, unlike dentures, they can only be safely removed by a dentist. They are also known as "permanent partial dentures."
Caring For Your Dental Bridges
After the installation of your dental bridge, you are able to treat it the same way as your natural teeth. If you care for your dental bridge properly with routine brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your dentist it should last for many years.
A dental implant is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Titanium is a kind of metal that can form a bond with natural bone, giving it a stable and secure foundation for an artificial tooth. A dental crown (cap) is then placed on top of the implant to serve as the artificial tooth replacement.
When a dental crown and implant are used together they can provide a feel and appearance that's similar to a natural tooth.
Caring For Your Dental Implants
Like bridges, you should maintain your dental implants just as you would your natural teeth. This consists of practicing excellent brushing and flossing habits, and routine visits to your dentist's office.
How to Know Which Option is the Best For You
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 procedure of placing dental implants is much more invasive than the placement of dental bridges. But, dental implants could often feel and look more natural than dental bridges.
Also, in order for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you have to 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 ensure 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.