Like millions of Americans, you’re missing a few teeth. This problem has interfered with your quality of life for far too long, and you’re getting sick and tired of it. Modern dentistry has come a long way in developing several options for filling the gaps in your smile. On the other hand, this can make it a bit hard to choose. Should you go with a crown and bridge, or dental implants in Charlottesville? Keep reading as we discuss the pros and cons of both options.
Crowns and Bridges
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that slips right over a tooth. Bridges consist of several crowns strung together. The crowns at the end of the bridge are placed over your remaining teeth at either end of the space in your smile, with the string of crowns in between literally bridging the gap.
Bridgework offers many of the same benefits as dental implants. They improve your ability to talk and eat, and they generally look more natural than dentures. Additionally, they prevent adjacent teeth from drifting into the gap, keeping your teeth aligned and preserving the integrity of your bite.
The major advantage of crowns and bridges over dental implants is that they don’t require surgery. Getting dental implants requires oral surgery to be placed directly into your jawbone. Because of this, bridges take less time and fewer dental visits to complete.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is attached to your jawbone in place of your old tooth roots. Over the following several months, your jawbone begins to grow around the post until the two are essentially the same structure. After this process is complete, a crown will be placed over the implant to give it the appearance of a perfectly natural tooth.
Implants generally offer more benefits than bridgework. One major advantage is that dental implants put no strain on neighboring teeth to stay in place.
Which One Should You Choose?
If you’re missing teeth in Charlottesville, you may be a candidate for either a bridge or a dental implant. Your dentist will evaluate the strength of your jawbone to see if you’re currently eligible for an implant, or if you must undergo a bone graft beforehand.
While it takes longer to heal from an implant, and they typically cost more, most dentists will recommend implants over bridges any day. Dental implants are famous for their incredible longevity. With proper care, they are able to last a lifetime. Conversely, bridges have to be replaced every few years. Although you may end up paying more upfront for an implant, it’s generally a one-time cost as compared to multiple bridge replacements throughout your lifetime.
If you’re still having trouble deciding, just contact your dentist today. They can tell you which solution would better benefit your unique smile!
About the Author
Dr. Hal Lippard has been a dentist in the Charlottesville, VA community for more than 20 years now. His practice provides crown and bridgework to replace your missing teeth. If you’d rather receive dental implants, he will refer you to a trusted oral surgeon for your procedure. To learn more about which one would be the better choice for you, visit Dr. Hal’s website.