Do I Need A Bridge or Implant?

Are you missing one or more permanent teeth and unsure what option you need? We can help. You may think you need a dental bridge if you have a missing tooth. A bridge consists of multiple false teeth that can restore a single tooth or several missing teeth in a row. Traditional dental bridges use the support of natural teeth on either side of a missing tooth gap. These natural teeth require preparation for dental crowns that cover each tooth. We provide dental bridge treatment in Durham, NC. However, we also provide dental implants that can secure dental bridges or single dental crowns for patients with a single missing tooth. 

Do I Need a Bridge or Implant?

Comparing Dental Bridge and Implant Treatment in Durham, NC

Here, we will compare dental bridges versus dental implants. You can benefit from either dental restoration, but it’s important to know what to expect with bridges and implants before treatment: 

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Bridges are restorations that benefit patients with one or more consecutive teeth. Dental bridges:

  • Restore the Smile Aesthetics: A dental bridge uses false teeth made of porcelain materials. Porcelain is a common material used in restorative dentistry because it reflects light like natural teeth. Bridges can easily blend in with adjacent teeth.
  • Prevent Shifting Teeth: Crown-capped teeth hold dental bridges in place to prevent natural teeth from shifting into a missing tooth gap.
  • Provide Quick Treatment: Receiving a dental bridge will take less time than an implant or implant-secured bridge. During bridge treatment, we will take impressions of your smile. You will wait several weeks for your custom bridge, which we will place in one office visit. 

However, traditional bridges may not last as long as implant-secured bridges. Dental bridges may also not support the underlying bone or gum tissue.

Benefits of Dental Implants and Implant-Secured Bridges

If you have a single missing tooth, we recommend an implant-secured crown. Dental implants can also secure bridges if you have consecutive missing teeth. Implants offer many benefits because they can: 

  • Support Bone and Jaw Health: An oral surgeon places dental implants into the jaw bone. Implants act as artificial tooth roots, fusing with the jaw bone to support one or more restorations.
  • Provide Lasting Restorations: Dental bridges last longer if dental implants secure them. While dental bridges may require replacement over time, dental implants are permanent. 
  • Have Fewer Dietary Restrictions: Because patients with implant bridges have the support of dental implant anchors, they can eat hard and crunchy foods much more easily than with traditional dental bridges.

Dental implants may require preparation for patients with insufficient jawbone tissue and can take longer than dental bridge treatment. However, implants last for many years. 

If you need to replace missing teeth but don’t know which restoration is right for you, we can help. Call Chapel Hill Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at 919.736.6175 or request a dental consultation online.