Both a bridge and a dental implant are excellent solutions for replacing a missing tooth. In most cases, both will require multiple appointments to complete.
A bridge provides a replacement tooth by using teeth on either side of the missing tooth for support. They can generally be completed in a matter of weeks.
Teeth adjacent to the missing tooth (or teeth) will need to be reduced, which may compromise the healthy teeth.
Since a bridge does not replace the missing root structure, you are at an increased risk of bone loss over time.
Keeping a bridge clean requires frequent cleaning to prevent bacteria buildup.
Another option is a dental implant, which serves as an artificial root, anchoring the replacement tooth in place. This also helps protect and preserve the area from tissue loss and recession.
An implant can be cared for just like any natural tooth. It also does not require removal of potentially healthy structure from the neighboring teeth to support it.
A considerable time span is needed to complete the procedure. In such cases your doctor can place a temporary tooth in the empty space while you heal.
As with any procedure, many additional factors must be taken into account. Your doctor can help you make that the right choice based upon your unique needs.
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