Replacing a tooth not only restores your smile, but it also restores your chewing function. Even the lack of one tooth can affect how you chew and inevitably the foods you choose to eat. Another reason for replacing a tooth is so your other teeth remain straight. When a tooth is missing, the adjacent teeth will try to fill the empty space by tilting and shifting which can lead to a misaligned bite and other issues. If you have a tooth missing or need a tooth removed and are wondering what options are available to replace your tooth, dental bridges and dental implants are two available options.
Should You Bridge It?
There are several differences between a dental bridge and an implant. One major difference is that the implant is more invasive. Bridge treatment is a non-invasive dental treatment that requires two dental visits. The bridge is constructed of two hollow crowns on each side of a prosthetic tooth. The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are shaved down to accommodate the crowns which are permanently cemented onto the remaining healthy tooth structure. A traditional three-unit bridge can cost anywhere from $2,100 to over $4,000.
A dental implant requires a complex, invasive surgery to place a titanium implant post into your jaw bone. However, once the titanium post fuses with the bone it is as stable as your original tooth root. The post is then covered with a dental crown. The implant is a permanent procedure that can last a lifetime. However, the cost for a single implant can be around $4,000 or more. An implant also requires two visits about three months apart to allow the implant post time to heal before placing the crown.