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Dental Bridges Vs. Dental Implants


Model of dental implant with artificial tooth at Oasis DentalYour teeth are an important feature of your mouth and perform several critical tasks every day. When you lose your teeth, even just a few of them, your entire life is affected. Tasks that were once simple soon become extremely difficult. Chewing your food becomes a challenge (and can cause poor digestion and malnutrition). Your speech is affected. Your smile is greatly diminished, which can decrease your level of confidence. At Oasis Dental, we offer many options for replacing missing teeth, including bridges and implants.

What are Dental Bridges?


A bridge is a restorative option that “bridges the gap” left behind by your missing teeth. It is typically used to replace anywhere from one to three consecutive missing teeth. Bridges are usually made from ceramic, and consist of your replacement teeth surrounded on both sides by dental crowns. The crowns anchor on to your adjacent healthy teeth (abutment teeth), which hold the restoration securely in place.

Placing dental bridges is a fairly simple procedure that takes two visits. During your first visit, your teeth are prepared, a process that involves the removal of some of the enamel from each abutment tooth, creating the space necessary for your restoration to fit perfectly in with the rest of your smile. An impression of your mouth is taken and sent to a lab, where your restoration is made. Upon your second visit, your bridge is cemented in place.

Pros and Cons of Bridges


Bridges offer several benefits, including:
•  The procedure is relatively simple, and only requires the use of a local anesthetic.
•  It only takes two visits to get your final restoration.
•  Bridges are one of the more affordable tooth replacement options.

There are also a few downsides to bridges:
•  Your abutment teeth need to be prepared, which involves removing enamel from perfectly healthy teeth.
•  Bridges cannot stop the bone loss that comes with tooth loss. This means that you may need to have your bridge periodically replaced.

What are Implants?

Implants are the newest available option for tooth replacement. Small titanium rods are surgically inserted into your jawbone, and rely on osseointegration (the fusion of your jawbone to the implants) for success and stability. When you have healed, the implants are like “roots” that are meant to support your replacement teeth.

Implants require a surgical procedure, as well as some down time for healing (several weeks to a few months, depending on how many implants have been placed.). During your healing, you wear temporary replacement teeth. Once you have fully healed, we begin the process for making your final replacement teeth. They are designed and created from molds of your mouth and screwed permanently in place over the implants.

Pros and Cons of Implants


Implants have several benefits:
•  Your adjacent teeth do not need to be altered in any way.
•  Your new teeth are supported by your implants, rather than your adjacent teeth or gums.
•  Implants help to stop the bone loss that usually accompanies tooth loss by mimicking similar functions to a natural tooth root.

Implants also have a few downsides as well:
•  They require a surgical procedure.
•  They require a significant amount of downtime depending on your circumstances.
•  Implants are one of the most expensive options for replacing missing teeth.

Replacing missing teeth is essential for restoring the health of your mouth and your quality of life. If you are missing teeth, call Oasis Dental today at (360) 836-1100.
A better kind of dental practice for your entire family.

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Matthew Aldridge, DMD
Oasis Dental
16500 SE 15th St, Suite 180
Vancouver, WA 98683 MAP

(360) 836-1100

Office Hours:
Monday: 8am–5:30pm
Tuesday: 8am–8pm
Wednesday: 7am–8pm
Thursday: 7am–3pm
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