Our teeth do more than contribute to a beautiful smile. Our teeth also help us bite, chew, and eat with comfort and ease, and they are essential for speech and pronunciation.
Sometimes, we experience tooth loss or need a tooth extraction due to an injury, poor dental hygiene, or a health condition. Having a missing tooth can put a damper on our self-esteem, not to mention it can make it more challenging to eat and speak. Luckily, with the advancements in restorative dentistry, we no longer have to go through life with gaps in our smiles!
If you have missing teeth, your skilled family dentist may recommend a permanent or semi-permanent solution to tooth loss, such as dental implants or dental bridges in Jonesboro, AR.
What’s a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge closes the gap between teeth, giving you a more complete and natural-looking smile. The bridge is made of an artificial tooth, called a pontic, that’s held in place by your natural healthy teeth next to the gap. The artificial tooth is customized to match the shade of your remaining natural teeth, so it complements your appearance.
Your dentist may suggest getting a dental bridge if two healthy teeth sit on either side of the missing tooth. Dental bridges are great options for patients who want to restore their smile’s function and appearance, especially if their missing teeth are located near the back of their mouth.
What’s a Dental Implant?
A permanent smile-saver, dental implants are surgically placed in a patient’s jaw and provide exceptional stability for a replacement tooth or teeth. The implant replaces a missing tooth root with a biocompatible titanium post, and an artificial tooth is attached to the post.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, dental implants help prevent jawbone deterioration. When a tooth falls out or is extracted, the jawbone can shrink and alter a person’s facial structure and smile. Because the implant is fixed in the jawbone, the new tooth and implant stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from shrinking. The American Dental Association also recommends implants for a more attractive smile if you’re replacing a more visible or front tooth.
What’s the Difference Between a Bridge and an Implant?
Both dental bridges and implants have their advantages. Depending on your unique oral health needs, aesthetic preferences, and budget, your dentist can help you choose which option is best for you.
- Appearance - Dental bridges can be more noticeable, whereas dental implants look more natural.
- Time - You can get a dental bridge in as little as two dental visits within a few weeks. A dental implant, however, is a longer process, taking up to six months.
- Cost - Typically, a bridge is less expensive than an implant.
Both bridges and implants can restore your smile and your confidence, and Dr. Bartels can help determine what is best for you.
What’s the Best Restorative Option for Me?
Every smile is one-of-a-kind, just like a fingerprint. The only way to find out if a bridge or implant is best for your smile’s health, function, and appearance is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Anthony Bartels at our Jonesboro, AR dental office.
Call us today at (870) 932-9911 to book your dental bridge or implant consultation.
We look forward to restoring your smile to its former glory!