Broken tooth replacement options: Bridge vs. implant
A broken tooth can happen to anyone at almost any time. Even with perfectly healthy
teeth, a broken tooth can become a painful reality in an instant after an injury to the tooth or
even after accidentally cracking down too hard on certain food items. Broken teeth, however,
are most often seen as the result of decay and damage that can occur throughout the years.
In some cases, teeth can be repaired, or a crown can be used to help stabilize the remaining
healthy tooth while also restoring functionality. In many cases, the tooth will need to be
extracted. When a tooth is lost, whether due to being dislodged by way of an accident or by
needing to be extracted, it leaves behind a gap that can fast become troublesome if not
Without addressing that gap, you could be faced with the loss of bone in your jaw, shifting
teeth, and the potential for damage to your previously healthy teeth. The good news is that
there are several options to restore your smile and functionality and help to preserve the
health of your mouth.
Let’s explore two of the options that your dentist may recommend: a dental bridge and a dental
What is a dental bridge?
You may have heard of a dental bridge but may not be entirely familiar with what this
dental solution is. A dental bridge is a device used to replace missing teeth. Just as dentures can
restore partial or full smiles, bridges can be used to help to bridge the gap that was left behind
when you lost the natural tooth. With a dental bridge, you can restore functionality, boost your
smile and appearance, and of course, help to ensure good oral health.
A dental bridge can replace one missing tooth or be used to replace a row of lost teeth. Your
custom bridge will not only be made to fit your teeth correctly but can also be matched to the
current shade of your natural teeth.
There are several types of dental bridges. The one that may be best for you will be based on the
goals you have surrounding the restoration of your good oral health. A traditional dental bridge
is one of the most commonly used types of bridges. With this type, crowns are often placed
over the natural teeth on either side of the gap being bridged to help provide the support that
the bridge will need.
There are several factors that your dentist will consider when determining the type of bridge
that you need, including the following.
- Your age
- The number of missing teeth
- The gap size left by those missing teeth
- Whether there are healthy teeth on either side of the gap
- The overall health of the teeth on either side of the gap
- The health of your gums
Your personal preference will also be considered when it comes to finding the best solution to
replace missing teeth. Getting your bridge affixed and your smile restored can take a few
appointments. In some situations, patients can get their new bridge on the same day of their
appointment. This makes them an option that some patients prefer so that they can get their
smiles and confidence back quicker.
Bridges can be an excellent solution for a number of patients. But they are not always the right
choice for every patient.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are an option for replacing missing teeth. They may just be the right
solution to meet your smile and overall oral wellness goals. Just what are dental implants?
Simply put, they are artificial roots to replace the roots of your now missing natural tooth or
teeth. They provide a permanent, sturdy base for your new, fixed, replacement teeth. In
addition to being used as a base for a crown, dental implants can be used as a stable solution
for anchoring dentures and bridges in place.
Dental implants are an effective and long-term solution for those with one or more missing
teeth. Other solutions to replace missing teeth can be a great choice, but they don’t always
look, feel, fit, and function as your natural teeth do.
What makes the dental implant feel so natural and secure? The implant, typically made from
titanium, is a post that is placed into the jaw during your procedure. With time, the titanium
post will fuse to the bone in your jaw. This provides your new teeth with the strong anchor that
they need. Dentures have long been the solution that dentists and patients turn to when there
are missing teeth. But they can slip around, even with the best adhesives keeping them in your
mouth. If dentures are anchored to dental implants, they are secured better so that you don’t
experience that same slippage.
With dental implants, not only do you restore functionality, but you’ll be able to restore
aesthetics. Your new tooth or teeth will be matched perfectly to the color of your natural teeth
so that no one can tell you’ve got an implant.
There are three parts to the dental implant:
- The implant post. This is the titanium post, a biocompatible material that is permanently implanted into your jaw and fuses with the bone in the jaw.
- The abutment. This is the connector between the implant and the prosthetic tooth. Itwill support the tooth, the bridge, or the set of teeth.
- The prosthetic tooth. Also known as the crown, this is the visible part of your new tooth. It could be made from porcelain or another type of material. It will be colored to match your natural teeth.
The dental implant procedure can be completed in several steps and may take a few months.
This is particularly the case if you’ve had bone regression in your jaw. There are some situations
where you may be able to get your dental implants completed sooner. There are a number of
factors that your dentist will be able to discuss with you at your appointment.
Which option is the right one for you?
How do you determine whether a bridge or an implant will be the right choice to
replace your tooth? Have an open discussion with your dentist and share your thoughts on the
options that you have available to you. If you have multiple teeth missing, a traditional bridge
may be the better option for the time being. This will allow you time to consider your next
Some patients opt for a traditional bridge to replace a single tooth; some may opt for an
implant to replace a missing single tooth. Implants can also be an option for a total mouth
replacement in some situations. To learn more and schedule your appointment contact us.