When it comes to teeth, nothing beats the ones you already have when they are in good health. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine preventative visits to your Houston dentist are the key to keeping your natural teeth healthy. Sometimes this is not how things turn out, and you can end up with very unhealthy or lost teeth. This can happen for many reasons, such as direct physical trauma to your teeth, poor or no dental care over an extended period, or suffering illnesses that impact your teeth’s health. But even if one or more of your natural teeth are too far gone to keep or have already been lost, your Houston cosmetic dentist can correct this with permanent solutions that give you back your smile and a complete set of teeth. It used to be that a dental bridge was the only choice when a tooth was gone entirely, but dental implants are now also available as an option and proving themselves another viable alternative to the problem of lost or severely damaged teeth.
How does a dental bridge work?
A dental bridge, like its name suggests, works by filling the gap created by one or more teeth that are no longer present. A bridge is composed of two or more crowns that cover the existing teeth, called the abutment teeth, on either side of the gap. In between is a connected artificial tooth to fill in the hole. The process involves preparing the abutment teeth to receive the crowns that will hold the bridge in place. Your bridge will then be fashioned and cemented in place to remove the gap in your smile.
How does a dental implant work?
Rather than ‘bridging the gap’ between natural teeth, a dental implant is inserted directly into the jaw bone forming an artificial root that the replacement tooth is anchored too. The material used for the implant is very strong, and your bone will physically attach to it through a process called osseointegration. Being a biological process, this takes some time, usually between three and six months. Dental implants are a permanent solution, and the implant itself should last a lifetime; though the artificial tooth affixed to it might need repair or replacement at some point.
Which one is right for me?
Whether you choose a dental bridge or dental implant is something your dentist can advise you on, as both these alternatives differ concerning cost, time to achieve a final result, and other details.
If you would like to learn more about dental bridges and dental implants, contact Ingenious Dentistry to schedule an appointment.
Image Credit: Getty Images / SeventyFour