Missing a Tooth? Should you replace it with a bridge or an implant?

There are many options when it comes to replacing a missing tooth. Here are some of the pros and cons of the different dental alternatives:

Implants
Dental ImplantsA dental implant is a root device that is made of titanium. It is a root-form endosseous implant, which means that there is fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding jaw bone. Since it lacks the periodontal ligament, chewing food may feel strange in rare cases. The periodontal ligament consists of connective tissue that attaches the tooth to bone. The ligament fibers provide protection, support, and nutrition to the tooth. Dental implants are versatile since they can support other dental prostheses. When teeth are lost, the bone that supported those teeth is lost too. Thus, dental implants stabilize and prevent bone loss and help maintain the jawbone’s shape and density so you look completely natural.

Bridge
BridgeA bridge is made up of two crowns on either side of the missing tooth. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and there is a false tooth in between the anchors. The false teeth are called pontics and can be made of a combination of gold, alloys, or porcelain. The abutment teeth must be reduced in size to accommodate the brdige, which can cause nerve damage. Bridges are advantageous because they can restore a smile, maintain face shape, and properly distribute forces in the bite. 

Crown

A dental crown is a tooth shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth. It encases the visible portion of the tooth, and is used to protect a weak tooth from breaking, cover an implant, or to restore a tooth with a large filling. They can be made of the following materials: stainless steel, metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, or all-ceramic zirconia. 

 
Denture
 Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth and are supported by the oral cavity tissue. Partial dentures are used if some natural teeth remain while complete dentures are needed if no teeth remain. 

 




Conclusion: Overall, your Dentist is the best judge to 
decide the appropriate course of treatment for you. Each case is different and requires a thorough assessment of the patient’s needs and concerns. 

References:
http://www.dentalimplants.com/
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-bridges
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-crowns
http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-health-dentures