Both dental bridges and implants are methods used for replacing teeth, but they each have specific qualities that could make one or the other a better fit for you. Do you think you need one of these procedures? Let’s look at the differences between dental bridges vs. implants, the pros and cons of each, and how to decide which is a better choice for you.
Dental Bridges vs. Implants
Dental bridges cover a few teeth where implants are used to replace a single tooth. Your dentist might recommend one or the other depending on your specific concerns, how much repair is needed, and your overall dental health. Dental bridges and implants are very different procedures and offer specific advantages over the other. Here’s what you can expect from dental bridges vs. implant procedures.
Dental bridges use existing teeth to bridge the gap of a missing one. Crowns are placed on either side on top of prepped and shaped teeth, and connected to a structure that holds a false tooth between them. The bridge is then cemented in as a whole unit, with the bridged section supported by each side.
Dental bridges are permanent prosthetics. You don’t have to take it out to clean it, but you do have to clean around and under it to keep the area free of bacteria.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are easy to attach. The simple procedure can generally be completed in one visit. Because it is less invasive, dental bridge procedures are usually more affordable than dental implants, and are covered by most dental insurance plans.
Typically, dental bridges won’t last as long as dental implants. This is because they aren’t as strong and lack the same foundational support. Due to natural wear, bridges put more stress on surrounding teeth. Bridges are also not as natural-looking as an implant, and require more maintenance to keep them clean.
Implants are a more involved procedure, but offer a longer lasting solution than dental bridges. A dental implant is basically a metal post that anchors to the jaw itself. A crown is attached to the top of the post.
The procedure itself has three parts, which must all take place separately and allow for proper healing to occur between each stage. (1) The implant is connected to the jaw where it will fuse with the bone, a process called osseointegration; (2) the post is connected to the implant which protrudes above the gum line; and (3) a dental crown is attached and cemented to the post.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
Because they are fused directly to the bone, dental implants are very strong and stable. With their own built-in support system, they don’t put stress on surrounding teeth like dental bridges and can last a lifetime. An implant will also look and feel like a real tooth — and since they require such little maintenance beyond your normal dental hygiene routine, you might forget it’s not a natural part of your mouth.
The biggest drawbacks of dental implants are the time and cost. The multi-step procedure can take from 5 to 9 months to complete, depending on each patient’s rate of healing between stages. Because it does involve surgery, each patient must consider associated risks such as infection and nerve or other damage. Implant procedures are generally more expensive than bridges, and not always covered by insurance.
Dental Bridges vs. Implants: Which is Better For You?
Now that we understand the differences between dental bridges vs. implants, how do you know which is the better solution for you? Your choice will depend on — in addition to your dentist’s recommendations — several personal factors, including your dental insurance, available time you’re willing to commit, and what you’re looking for out of your dental procedure.
- Insurance: Are both procedures covered by your dental insurance? Often, bridges are covered under most plans, but not all plans cover implant procedures because they are more involved. Before you commit to a more expensive procedure, you’ll want to be informed about out-of-pocket costs.
- Time commitment: Implant procedures are more involved. They take more time, more appointments, and more recovery because they require surgery. Bridges are a more simple procedure that can usually be done in a single visit, depending on the amount of work you need done.
- Cost and Durability: Implants last longer than bridges in most cases; about 15 years or more as opposed to around 7 for bridges. Based on the severity of work needed and your dental health, the costs might be comparable, so you’ll need to decide whether durability will play a role in your decision.
You should talk over all of these factors with your dentist, and they can help you decide whether dental bridges vs. implants will give you the results you’re looking for, and match your situation.
Are you concerned that you might need either a bridge or an implant? Schedule an appointment with Creason, Weber & Mountford today! We’re happy to take a look, offer a consultation, and even get that procedure scheduled for you.
What’s the first thing people notice about you? Oftentimes, it’s your smile! Which is why it’s so important to keep your teeth healthy and pearly white. Having a bright white smile is a big confidence boost, but unfortunately, it can also be difficult to maintain. Coffee, red wine, and other foods can stain your teeth; over time, those stains that are just on the outside layer of your teeth, the enamel, can sink into the second layer, the dentin. Once stains reach the dentin, they are difficult to remove, since no amount of brushing or cleaning will get rid of them.
So how can you get rid of these deep stains?
The best way to clean up these deep stains is with a professional whitening product. There are many on the market today, from whitening mouthwashes to toothpastes and whitening strips, but the most efficient way to get rid of stains, and keep them away, is to have them professionally whitened by your dentist. One of the most popular ways to have your teeth whitened these days is with Zoom! Whitening. A safe, quick procedure monitored by your dentist, Zoom! could be the whitening choice for you.
What is Zoom! Whitening?
The Zoom! teeth whitening procedure is a professional treatment, authorized and supervised by a dentist, that whitens teeth by up to 8 shades in one 90 minute appointment. Zoom! uses a hydrogen peroxide solution that is activated by a Zoom! light to remove stains. As the light and the solution work together, the hydrogen peroxide solution can sink into the dentin, and break the carbon bonds that hold stains together, protecting the integrity of your teeth, and ridding them of all yellow stains!
What should I expect during my Zoom! Whitening appointment?
When you come in for your appointment, the dentist will probably ask you a few questions, and then prepare your mouth for the whitening treatment. After ensuring that your lips and gums are kept clear of the whitener, the whitening solution will be placed on your teeth, and the Zoom! whitening light will be placed over your mouth for three intervals of 15 minutes. You’ll be able to watch TV or listen to music while your teeth are quickly whitened!
How to know if Zoom! is right for you.
While a whiter smile is possible for everyone, you should talk to your dentist to see if you’re a good candidate for Zoom!. There are many factors that can determine your eligibility for Zoom! including your oral hygiene habits, what kind of dental work you’ve had done in the past, and what condition your teeth are in right now. Certain medications can also preclude you from the Zoom! In-Office treatment, but in these cases you would still be eligible for the Zoom! Take-Home treatment. This treatment provides you with custom-fit whitening trays that you can take home with you to whiten your teeth safely and at your own convenience.
Visit our page on Zoom! Whitening for more information and pricing on the treatment. If you think Zoom! is right for you, feel free to give our office a call at (616) 842-0822, and we’ll set you up with an appointment time that is convenient for you.
Any exposure to radiation can be very harmful. Unfortunately, there are many sources all around us that emit radiation including the sun, appliances in our homes, and even minerals found in the ground. The main concern with radiation exposure is that it can damage the tissue and cells found in our bodies and, in some cases, lead to cancer.
Dental x-rays are often taken if you are a new patient in an office, during a regularly scheduled x-ray visit (typically every 6, 12 or 24 months, depending on the situation), or if any gum disease or issues have been detected. It’s an important step in the dental health schedule and can help prevent major problems before they occur.
So, are dental x-rays safe? Although there is a small dose of radiation found in dental x-rays, they are safe if taking the proper precautions. The good news is that there have been many improvements in the dental field including low radiation machines, digital machines that focus radiation to a small point, and the development of high-speed x-ray film for shorter exposure time.
At Creason & Weber Family Dentistry, it’s important to keep all of our patients healthy and safe. That is why we use state-of-the-art, digital x-rays and photographs that use very little radiation with very accurate focus, as well as a lead shield with a thyroid collar to protect the rest of your body. In fact, our digital radiographs use 5x less radiation than a standard film x-ray! They also provide extremely clear images that appear larger than life on our monitors so you will be able to see any dental problems right in front of you in an instant. We also are very lucky to offer our patients crystal clear pictures of their teeth using NO radiation with our new Digital Intraoral Cameras!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding our digital x-ray technology and Digital Intraoral Cameras, or if you would like to set up an appointment at Creason & Weber Family Dentistry, please request an appointment online or call us at (616) 842-0822.