Implants, Dentures, or Bridges?
Have you had teeth removed and are wondering what the best replacement option is? The three most commonly used are dentures, bridges, and dental implants. Each one serves the same purpose: to replace your lost teeth and maintain the function of a healthy mouth. However, they all vary in cost, effectiveness, and application.
In the world of cosmetic dentistry, implants are most commonly recommended by oral surgeons, however dentures and bridges are both alternative options that many opt for.
Our team at the Carrie Muzny DDS office put together this article to demystify these options and help you make an informed decision about your most important asset – your smile!
What Are Bridges, Dentures, and Implants?
Dentists remove bad teeth when they show signs of decay to preserve your oral health. Once removed, cosmetic dentistry seeks to replace the lost teeth so that your mouth will continue to look and feel the same. Implants, dentures, and bridges are tools we use to achieve this.
Dental bridges act as permanent replacements for lost teeth. Dentists mold them to fit the specific gaps made by lost teeth and use artificial roots (or secure to adjacent teeth) to fit your jaw. Bridges utilize crowns to create your new teeth.
Dentures are a non-permanent solution to lost or damaged teeth and gums. They are removed and cleaned nightly and adhere to your natural gums with adhesives specially designed for use with dentures. Though commonly associated with the elderly, dentures are suitable for adults of all ages. They can replace a complete set of teeth or partial sections.
Dental implants are individual artificial teeth that connect directly with and eventually fuse to your jaw bone. The materials used in both the bond and the teeth are incredibly durable. Implants require simple maintenance and closely resemble natural teeth.
Are Dental Implants Better Than Bridges?
Bridges were once the go-to option for young patients and those who weren’t comfortable with dentures. However, advances in modern dentistry have left them somewhat antiquated compared to implants. Here are 4 reasons why.
#1: Implants Have Greater Durability
Because they use artificial roots to anchor themselves to your gums, bridges are prone to movement and damage. They can become loose and eventually fall out or, in severe situations, need to be removed and reinstalled. The metal connection between an implant and your jaw holds firm.
#2: Bridges Can Damage Adjacent Teeth
Bridges sometimes require extra stability that their artificial roots don’t provide. To achieve this, dentists install bands behind the bridge and adjacent teeth. Unfortunately, this means the connected teeth share any force placed on the bridges. A sudden impact against the bridge can damage or even remove the banded teeth, making further surgery necessary.
#3: Implants Are a Better Investment
Bridges don’t have long lifespans, with the highest quality ones lasting a decade if you follow proper maintenance. By comparison, well-kept implants can last the rest of your life.
#4: Implants Are Easier to Clean
It’s much less expensive to clean dental crown implants than bridges. You can clean each crown by brushing the way you would your natural teeth, so you don’t need to change anything about your oral hygiene routine. By comparison, bridges require much more attention because they are prone to creating gum problems and issues for adjacent teeth.
Are Implants Better Than Dentures?
Dentures are a simple way to replace teeth without surgery. False teeth simply fit around your gums during the day and are removed at night. On paper, this sounds great, but the simplicity comes with its own downsides.
There are 3 reasons why implants are typically the better option compared to dentures:
#1: Dentures Often Don’t Look Natural
It’s hard to wear dentures and not feel self-conscious. Very few dentures look natural, and for a multitude of reasons. Even a set explicitly molded to fit your mouth still rests on your gums, which can make your mouth look abnormal. Teeth in denture plates rarely look natural in shape or color. Dentists model and size individual implants at the same scale as your other teeth, creating a uniform look.
Dentures use a special adhesive to stay in place in your mouth. Despite this, they can still slip and create embarrassment. An oral surgeon installs implants directly into your gums and jawbone, making such slippage impossible.
#3: Implants Help Maintain Your Jawbone’s Strength
As you lose teeth, your jawbone may slowly deteriorate over time, creating weakness in your jaw and deforming the shape of your mouth. Implants prevent this process because their artificial roots bond directly to the bone, stimulating it.
Meanwhile, dentures do nothing to preserve the bone: they just rest on your gums. As a consequence, you’ll need to replace your dentures every so often as your jaw weakens and changes shape.
Want to improve your smile?
Carrie Muzny DDS and Associates offers the highest-quality dental services for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our highly acclaimed dentists are not only exceptionally trained in modern preventative techniques, but also have attained academic honors and continue to refine their craft year after year in preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and cosmetic dentistry.
With our state-of-the-art technology and vast range of smile-perfecting procedures, we stay atop the field and deliver smiles as sunny as the state of Texas!To let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today. You can even request a virtual consultation!