When you have a missing tooth, in the past your dentist would have recommended a bridge. Due to advances in dentistry, today your dentist will most likely recommend a dental implant. There are many benefits to getting a dental implant instead of a bridge, and we are going to review those today.
What is an Implant?
There are three parts to a dental implant restoration: the actual implant that is screwed into your jaw bone, the abutment which connects the implant to the crown, and the crown which is the dental restoration over the implant. The implant is made of titanium and is placed in your jaw bone where the bone fuses with the titanium to create a strong bond. The abutment is made of zirconia, a white ceramic material, and is connected to the implant using a screw. The crown is cemented onto the abutment and is made of ceramic in order to better match your existing teeth.
Benefits of an Implant
There are several benefits to implants. For one, replacing the whole tooth keeps the mouth as close to the natural state as possible. Comparatively, when you get a bridge to replace a missing tooth there is bone loss which can cause your facial structure to change. Placing a bridge also requires using the adjacent teeth to support the bridge by grinding them down and placing crowns on them. This causes the adjacent teeth to become more susceptible to decay.
The forces placed on each tooth in the mouth can be incredible. When you get a bridge, the force that was to be applied to the missing tooth is instead applied across the whole bridge. This increases the force placed on the supporting teeth and can cause additional stress to these teeth. When you have an implant placed, the adjacent teeth do not have to support this additional force. This helps keep the forces evenly distributed across your whole mouth.
Additionally implant restorations are easier to clean. The cleaning process for an implant restoration is very similar to your normal oral hygiene routine. Cleaning a bridge requires a floss threader to reach under the bridge to clean the supporting teeth. Super floss or a Waterpik is necessary to clean under the bridge to remove food particles, grains, or seeds. Infrequent flossing of a bridge can lead to bad breath and decay of the supporting teeth.
We recommend implant restorations over bridges for the majority of missing teeth. Our Evanston dentists believe in minimally invasive dentistry. Thanks to the advances in dental technology, we are able to do implant restorations to help provide the most minimally invasive dentistry possible for missing teeth. With an implant you can restore your smile without harming your other teeth to keep your smile healthy and whole.