Single Tooth Replacement: Dental Implant or Bridge?

sigle-toothLosing a tooth may not seem like cause for concern; however, losing even a single tooth can become problematic. It can affect your appearance, your ability to talk and chew, and your jawbone and other teeth.

Two of the most common ways to replace a single tooth is with either a dental bridge or a dental implant. It’s all about figuring out which one is right for you.

Difference between a Dental Bridge and Dental Implant

A dental bridge is exactly what it sounds like. It links the gap between two neighboring natural teeth with an artificial bridge.

Your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist starts by shaving the sides of the natural teeth on either side of the gap. The reshaping of these anchor teeth makes room for the bridge. A temporary bridge fills in until your permanent metal/ceramic or all ceramic bridge is ready for placement.

Naturally, the biggest benefits of a dental bridge are that it’s relatively quick to do at a reasonable cost. However, bridges have their drawbacks. One of the biggest problems with bridges is the trauma placed on the anchor teeth. Not only do the anchor teeth require reshaping, the success of the bridge relies on their continued good health.

Dental implants, on the other hand, replace a missing tooth in the most natural-looking way possible. Your Century City cosmetic dentist actually embeds the implant into your gum and jawbone. It acts as the tooth root. This preserves your jawbone and doesn’t affect any adjoining teeth. Additionally, the crown placed on top of the implant makes it virtually impossible for anyone to know it’s not your real tooth.

Take Quick Action if You Lose a Tooth

Regardless of how or why you lose a tooth, it’s important to take immediate action. Losing a tooth can lead to a long list of problems, including movement of other teeth, decay, periodontal disease, and jawbone loss. It may even lead to the loss of other teeth.

Instead, if you lose a tooth here is what your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist recommends:

  • If you can find the tooth, be sure to pick it up by the crown not the root.
  • Don’t try to clean it.
  • If possible, place the tooth back into position and hold it in place with sterile gauze.
  • If you cannot replace it, preserve the tooth in sterile saline or milk.
  • Visit your dentist as soon as possible.

The goal is to keep from harming the tooth or root. Handled correctly, your Century City cosmetic dentist may be able to save the tooth as well as save you from additional dental work.