There are several different ways to replace missing teeth.
The most common methods of missing teeth replacement are dental implant replacements or bridges.
Bridges are advertised as a good, cheap option, however, dental implants give the best long-term success.
Missing teeth endanger the quality of the bone in your jaw. Sufficient bone is essential to all the methods of teeth replacement. However, when you lose a tooth the bone starts to deteriorate and melt away, which could lead to damage to the adjacent teeth and gum tissue. After a while, the changes in your mouth will be visible in your appearance not only when you smile but even with your mouth is closed, as it starts to slowly collapse.
Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant will not only stop the bone resorption but could even reverse the process. An expert in dental surgery is also able to restore the damage done if the tooth has been missing for a longer period of time. Dental implants fuse with the bone in a process called the osseointegration, which makes the bone stronger and healthier.
Bridges on the other hand will not preserve the bone and could slowly damage it. The process of deterioration is usually sped up by bridges and partials. Only dental implant replacement is able to stop the deterioration and maintain the bone. If you have bridges, experts recommend replacing them with dental implants, because they preserve bone and are more durable.
Adjacent teeth preservation
Another advantage of dental implants over bridges is that they preserve adjacent teeth. Over longer time periods, having dental implants helps preserve the function of the whole set of teeth and jaws.
While the dental implants preserve the adjacent teeth, bridges could compromise them even further. Bridges need the support of adjacent teeth for proper function and this support subjects other teeth to additional forces and accelerates many unwanted side effects, including bone deterioration. Dental implants don’t need the support of the adjacent teeth because they replace the root of the tooth, not only the crowns.
To install bridges, the dentist needs to cut down the teeth. Cement used to hold the bridges in place and will finally rinse out, allowing bacteria a way in, and eventually causing the bridges to fail. If the bridges fail, the adjacent teeth are in danger, and more extensive treatment is needed. The bridges can also fail due to decay reaching the tooth nerves, and in this case root canal work is needed. Replacing teeth with dental implants means that no cutting down is required resulting in healthier teeth.
Dental implants have an average long-term success of 95% to 98%. Their durability and ability to preserve bone and adjacent teeth makes them the best long-term solution for missing tooth replacement. Bridges are only a temporary solution and have to be replaced at least every 10 years, while dental implants can last for a lifetime if properly taken care of. Dental implants have a documented history of success and are proven worldwide to be the best treatment for tooth replacement.
Bridges on the other hand don’t have any of the advantages dental implants give, and are not as durable. During their 10-year life, bridges will not feel or serve as well as dental implant. Additionally, they increase the risk of fractures and decay. The quality of dentures decreases noticeably with time and many factors can accelerate this process even more.
Bridges are often advertised as the less expensive alternative to dental implants Initially, you will pay less for dentures but need to consider their lifespan and any further treatments required. The higher cost of dental implants should be considered as an investment, with less subsequent expenditure and damage to the surrounding teeth and bone.
Overwhelming amounts of research and documentation shows that dental implant replacement is the most cost efficient treatment for missing teeth. According to reports from The American Dental Association (ADA) dental implants are much more successful (the average success rate is 95%) and last much longer from 20 to 50 years in some cases. Most of the dental implants require the oral hygiene regime as natural teeth and an occasional visit to the dentist if, for example, the implant’s titanium screws need tightening.
While there is little time needed for planning the treatment with bridges the dental implants need is more time consuming and surgery is required.