A missing tooth can make you feel self-conscience about your smile. The tooth may have been lost due to dental decay, poor dental hygiene or from an accident of some sort. No matter the reason for the missing tooth, you can get your smile back. If you aren't sure if you should get a dental bridge or an implant, read on for further information about both of these types of tooth replacement options to help you choose.
A dental bridge is a temporary tooth that is held in place with wire that attaches to the surrounding teeth. A dental bridge should be removed when sleeping or eating to prevent it from moving out of place, losing it or getting damaged. A bridge needs to be cleaned overnight using a denture soak. Brush the bridge gently using a soft-bristle toothbrush to remove bacteria and plaque build-up.
Dental bridges don't last too long and may need to be replaced every few years. If you spot any damage to the bridge, you'll need to have it checked and repaired or replaced. You'll also need to keep up with dental appointments for routine cleanings and checkups. Your dentist will make sure your bridge still fits snugly in place. If your teeth shift or move at all, your bridge may not fit securely any longer, and you may need to be re-fit for a new bridge.
A dental implant is a permanent tooth replacement option. An anchor is screwed into the bone, and the "tooth" is then screwed onto the anchor. If your jaw bone is not healthy, or you have bone loss, dental implants may not be an option for you. Dental implants are cared for just like your natural teeth; brush them twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and floss as well to remove plaque between teeth.
Dental implants won't move out of place as with a dental bridge. You don't have to remove it to eat or to sleep at night, and there's no worry of food damaging your implant. You can still bite into an apple or corn on the cob.
Dental implants take time to have them fitted and several procedures to have them put in place. You'll need to also keep up with dental appointments and have your teeth and implant cleaned and inspected. If you experience any problems with your implant, be sure to visit your dentist for a checkup.
If you have a missing tooth and aren't sure which type of tooth replacement option may be best for you, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about which option is best.