It’s not entirely surprising when a dental patient appears anxious to replace one or more teeth that have “gone missing”. Missing teeth is never fun. Your teeth are one of the first things people notice about you, as such, we hardly blame the patients who want to find the best and fastest solution available for tooth replacement. That’s where we tell them to pump the brakes a little bit.
When it comes to replacing any number of tooth, the most important step to take is to stop and breathe. Not only is it important to stop and think because there are more than one solutions available for tooth replacement, but the two main options take different lengths of time to prepare, install, and perfect. But, as is always the case, sometimes the best option available might take some time. Our word to the wise? Don’t rush.
Remembering that it’s important not to rush your decision, if you’re looking for a quick fix for a missing tooth and you’d rather avoid the need for surgery, dental bridges are the answer. We get it, dental implant surgery isn’t for everyone. Whether you’ve got a medical condition or you’re a bad candidate for dental implants (your dentist can explain), a dental bridge might be the most logical solution.
On the other hand, we have dental implants. A dental implant is the longest-lasting replacement alternative for teeth. On top of this, they also tend to produce the most natural looking results (however, keep in mind that dental bridges still offer an exceptional aesthetic). Even still, dental implants tend to be more expensive in the short-term but less-expensive in the long-term, as they will most likely never need to be replaced again – whereas a dental bridge can be expected to last around 10 years.
So, dental bridge or dental implant? Ultimately the choice is up to you. If you’re a younger patient and you’re only missing one tooth – there’s a good chance your dentist will recommend a dental implant. This isn’t because dental implants are more profitable! That, actually, couldn’t be further from the tooth. In fact, it’s likely your dentist will make this suggestion for a couple reason. First, it’s more cost-effective in the long term, since a dental implant will likely never have to be replaced. In addition, it preserves the surrounding teeth as well. Unlike a dental implant, a dental bridge requires the two adjacent teeth to be crowned in order to support the bridge (think of them as the bridge’s architectural supports). If these two teeth are already healthy, most dentist’s won’t want to damage them. However, if they have cavities, fillings, or could generally be expected to require a crown in the future – a bridge might be a perfectly suitable solution.