Dental Implants Versus Implant Dental Bridges: Which Are Best for You?

Posted on: 21 December 2016

If you have one or more teeth that are missing from your mouth due to tooth trauma or tooth decay that led to them having to be extracted, then replacing them is very important. While dental implants are becoming popular, dental bridges and dentures are still in use due to the fact that all mouths and different and some teeth replacement options work better for some people's specific oral problems than others. If you are like many people, you wonder what the difference is between all of the teeth replacement options. While your dentist will give you advice tailored to your needs, read on to learn whether you are likely a better candidate for dental implants or implant dentures.

Good Dental Implant Candidates

Dental implants consist of a post (screw), pontic (false tooth), and abutment (joins the post and pontic together). When you obtain dental implants, each false tooth is attached to your jaw with its own post. 

Dental implants are typically good options for teeth replacement when there are only a few teeth missing in your mouth and the rest of them are in relatively good shape. To be a good candidate for dental implants, the jawbone that sits just above or below where your missing teeth once were must be relatively healthy and there must be enough bone to support the implant post. However, bone grafting can be used to build up enough jaw bone tissue to support the implant posts when replacing just a few teeth. 

While a great option for many, if you are missing all of your top or bottom teeth (or have just a few remaining that are in bad shape and need to be removed), then implant dental bridges and implant dentures are likely better options for you. 

Implant Dental Bridge Candidates

Implant dental bridges are good options for replacing all top and/or bottom teeth. With implant dental bridges, you can have a full row (arch) of teeth replaced without having to have a post installed for each and every false tooth that is placed. Instead, just a few implant posts are placed strategically in your jaw to support a full row of artificial teeth. Due to the fact that you don't need a post for every tooth, if you need bone grafting to build up jaw bone to support the posts, it can be done only where the posts will be installed. If you are missing adequate bone in an area where a post does not have to be installed, then you won't have to obtain grafting there, which you would if obtaining a row of individual dental implants. 

Instead of adding one pontic and one abutment to your mouth for each implant post placed, a full row of porcelain teeth (just one piece) is attached to the implant posts. You can choose to have this row of teeth attached to your implant posts permanently or opt for a removable option. 

If you have missing teeth, replacing them is very important. Keep these facts about dental implants and implant dental bridges in mind when you speak to your dentist about your teeth replacement options. Both help preserve your natural jaw bone, unlike dentures, and this can help you maintain a great-looking smile and mouth that lasts many years. If you're interested in learning more information, check it out here.