Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana explains the difference between dental implants and a dental bridge as well as the pros and cons of each one.

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Hi, my name is Dr. Holly Austgen from Southeast Family Dental. And today we’re going to talk about dental implants vs. dental bridges. So what is a dental implant? A dental implant is a titanium rod that is placed into the bone where the missing tooth used to be. Placing the implant in the bone prevents future bone loss because the bone and the titanium rod actually begin to bond together.

The bone does not know the difference between the root of the natural tooth and the titanium rod. Then you go and have a crown placed on top of that rod. This dental crown replicates the natural crown of the tooth that was there prior. A dental implant requires several procedures and series for this to be placed.

So let’s move on to brides. What is a dental bridge? A bridge is a non-removable prothesis that is used to replace a missing tooth. A bridge literally bridges the gap between the two natural teeth replacing the tooth that’s missing between them. Bridges used to be the best option in tooth replacement because they were non-removable and they were pretty pleasing to look at.

So let’s look at the pros and cons of implants vs. bridges. The pro of the dental implant is the fact that it is most like a natural tooth. It’s easy to clean around, you can floss in between it and it doesn’t require any type of drilling of filing of the tooth next to it. If something goes wrong with the dental implant, the teeth next to the space are not affected. It also allows for the bone to stay in place because that bone thinks that titanium rod is actually the root of the natural tooth.

The downside to a dental implant for some people is that not everybody is a surgical candidate. It does take longer for this prosthesis to be completed and the initial cost is more expensive.

A dental bridge. The pros and cons of a dental bridge are that you can not clean around is as easily as you can a dental implant. The bridge itself requires filing down of the teeth next to the space. Because it’s attached to that natural tooth you can’t floss in between it. This can potentially can lead to decay and periodontal disease.

If you do get decay on the teeth anchoring that tooth, it will cause you to lose the entire bridge itself. Initially the cost of a dental bridge is less expensive than an implant and it does not require surgery or take as long to replace.

I’m Dr. Holly Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and we can make you smile.