The "Tooth" About Why An Implant Is Better Than A Bridge

Health & Medical Blog

For years, dentists would replace missing teeth with what's known as a bridge — a false tooth that attaches to the neighboring teeth. Over the past few decades, however, bridges have become less common. Now, dentists typically recommend dental implants for patients with missing teeth. Sometimes patients assume this is because a dentist can charge more for an implant than for a bridge. Indeed, implants do come at a higher price point. But that's not why your dentist is recommending one. Here's the truth about why dentists generally recommend dental implants over bridges these days.

Dental implants do not put pressure on the neighboring teeth.

A dental bridge gives you a new tooth, but at the expense of the teeth surrounding your gap. The bridge has to be cemented to the teeth on either side of it. Each time you chew, there is a bit of strain on these neighboring teeth. Over time, this can cause those neighboring teeth to shift and deteriorate. A dental implant, however, is an independent false tooth. There is a screw implanted directly into your jaw bone, plus a crown that sits above the gums. The new tooth does not interfere with the teeth to either side of it.

Dental implants protect your jaw bone.

When you get a bridge, your dentist is only replacing the visible, crown portion of your tooth. When you get an implant, the root and the crown are replaced. This may not sound like such a big deal since you can't even see the tooth roots. But even though you cannot see them, they are important. They stimulate your jaw bone and keep it healthy. By replacing your missing tooth roots with a dental implant, you help keep your jaw bone from deteriorating and becoming brittle as you age. 

Dental implants last the rest of your life.

Since a bridge is cemented onto the neighboring teeth, the cement eventually wears out. Then, you need a new bridge. It can be annoying and costly to have your bridge replaced every decade or so. A dental implant is, by comparison, much longer-lasting. Usually, implants last for the rest of a patient's life. And if an implant does suffer any damage, the crown is generally the only part that needs to be replaced.

Dental implants aren't recommended because they cost more. They're recommended because they are a better tooth replacement option. That's the "tooth" of the matter!


23 April 2021

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.