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What is the difference between dental implants and dental bridges?

Dental bridges and dental implants can both be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Our Calgary dentists can help you choose the best tooth replacement option that best suits your specific oral health needs. 

What are dental bridges?

The aptly named dental bridge is a fixed dental appliance that literally "bridges" the gap left by missing teeth. Also known as "permanent partial dentures", they are used to replace one or missing teeth, your dentist will permanently attach a bridge to the teeth on either side of the gap. Unlike dentures, only a dentist can safely remove a bridge. 

How to care for your dental bridges

Once the dentist has installed your dental bridge, you can care for it the same way that you would your natural teeth. If it's properly maintained with regular brushing and flossing, your bridge should last for many years. Also remember to keep seeing your dentist regularly.

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jaw bone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Titanium is a type of metal that has the ability to form bonds with natural bone, making it a secure and stable foundation for an artificial tooth. A dental crown (cap) is then placed on top of the implant to serve as the artificial tooth replacement.

When used together, the dental crown and implant have a very similar appearance and feel to a natural tooth.

How to care for your dental implants

Like with bridges, you should take care of your dental implants just like your natural teeth. This includes a strong brushing and flossing routine, and regular visits to the dentist.

How do I know which option is right for me?

Dental implants and dental bridges both have their advantages, and the best option for any given person will depend on that person's oral health needs as well as his or her financial situation.

The placement of dental implants is significantly more invasive than the placement of dental bridges. However, dental implants can often appear and feel more natural than dental bridges.

In addition, for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you must have a sufficient volume of jaw bone. If you don't have enough bone in your jaw, you may still be able to get an implant, but you would need to undergo a bone grafting procedure first to ensure that the implant could be supported. As a result, the implant process would take longer and be somewhat more invasive.

At the end of the day, the only way to determine which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult with your dentist.

Our Calgary dentists will discuss your tooth replacement options with you and will assist you in selecting the most appropriate option for your dental health needs. Get in touch today for a consultation!

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