Are you one of the millions of adults dealing with the problem of a missing tooth? Most periodontists like Leesburg, VA-based Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche recommend replacing the tooth as soon as possible. That way, you can enjoy better oral function and aesthetics. However, you may wonder whether to get a dental bridge or dental implants. Below are some considerations to help you decide.

The Difference Between Dental Implants and Bridges
Before you can determine if you should choose a bridge or implant, you will definitely want to have an understanding of each missing tooth replacement solution. Dental bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that are made to look like the missing tooth. The bridge is formed by affixing two dental crowns on the teeth on either side of the missing tooth, and then adding a prosthetic tooth to the middle of the bridge. The process is relatively fast and requires only a few appointments and no surgeries.

Dental implants are surgically embedded into the bone where the missing tooth once sat. They are stable, standalone devices that are anchored not by the surrounding teeth, but by the jawbone itself. The treatment usually takes around six to eight months to complete, but it has lasting results. Most patients can enjoy the benefits of dental implants for the rest of their lives!

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants and Bridges?
Now that you have a better understanding of what dental implants and bridges are, you need to weigh your options. First, think about whether you want a temporary or permanent replacement for your missing tooth. Dental implants are generally considered permanent because they can last 20 or more years with normal care. Plus, their success rate is very high. On the other hand, dental bridges require replacement about every 10 to 15 years. This makes them an ongoing investment rather than a one-time purchase.

Remember, too, that placing dental implants involve surgery, whereas dental bridge placement does not. If you are not healthy enough for surgery, you may not be a strong candidate for dental implants. Of course, if your main issue is low bone density, our periodontist may be able to perform bone grafting to improve your candidacy. 

Another factor in selecting dental implants or bridges is the long-term effect on your other teeth and gums. Our periodontist will need to alter the shape of the adjacent teeth if you replace your missing tooth with a dental bridge. Additionally, your dental bridge prosthetic will not stimulate the bone at the site of the missing tooth as a dental implant would. Therefore, you can expect to lose bone through inevitable reabsorption if you opt for a dental bridge rather than a dental implant.

Need Help Deciding?
Still not sure if you want to replace your missing tooth with dental implants or a dental bridge? If you live in the Leesburg, VA area, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kharmouche by calling (571) 918-9634 today!