Benefits of Implants Vs. Bridges


smiling woman at Keith A. Boenning, DDS, Towson, MDTooth loss has several causes, including gum disease, severe tooth decay, and facial trauma. Even losing just one tooth has a serious impact on your oral health, the functions of your mouth, your smile, and your quality of life. Eating and speaking become more challenging. Your smile and your confidence deteriorate. Your healthy teeth begin to shift out of natural alignment, throwing off your bite and possibly causing other complications including bruxism and TMJ disorder.

What Are Bridges?

Bridges are a traditional restoration used for replacing a missing tooth. They can be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth in any part of your mouth. There are a few different types of bridges.
•  Cantilever. A cantilever bridge is sometimes used when there are only adjacent healthy teeth on one side of the missing teeth. One or more crowns anchor the bridge in place.
•  Maryland. Commonly called a resin-bonded bridge, a Maryland bridge uses metal wings that are bonded to the backs of your adjacent teeth to anchor the restoration in place.
•  Fixed. A fixed bridge is the most common type of bridge. The replacement tooth has one crown on each side of it, anchoring the restoration in place.

Fixed bridges are typically made of ceramic or porcelain. This material blends in perfectly with the rest of your natural teeth. The material is also very strong. To place the bridge, a small amount of enamel needs to be removed from each of the adjacent teeth to reduce them in size. This helps to ensure that the bridge will fit comfortably and naturally in your mouth.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a modern alternative to a dental bridge. This unique treatment uses small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. As you heal from surgery, your bone fuses to the posts, integrating them into your bone and stabilizing them in place. Once you have fully healed, the posts provide strong, secure support for your new teeth, which are ceramic crowns.

Benefits of Implants Over Bridges

Dental implants offer numerous benefits over bridges. These benefits include:
•  Preservation of your adjacent teeth. With dental implants, we do not have to alter the structure of your other teeth, keeping them perfectly intact.
•  They are more comfortable. The crowns of your dental implants are supported by the titanium posts, which are supported by your jawbone, whereas bridges are supported by your adjacent teeth.
•  A more natural appearance. While ceramic and porcelain bridges mimic the properties of your real teeth, dental implants look, and feel, much more natural.
•  Preservation of your jawbone. When you lose teeth, you lose some of the bone that used to surround the teeth. While bridges replace your missing teeth, they cannot stop the continuing bone loss in your jaw. Dental implants are the only option that can help to maintain your jawbone. The implant in your jaw helps to stimulate your bone, which helps to preserve the bone around the implant. This keeps it strong and healthy.

If you have suffered the loss of even one tooth, it is important to have that tooth replaced. For more information on bridges and implants, and to schedule your consultation, call Keith A. Boenning, DDS today at (410) 828-1717.

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