Implant or fixed bridge, Surely, you have heard about the treatment options that are available to you if you have lost one or more teeth.
Dental absence, either due to caries or trauma, is a condition that affects millions of people. In addition, losing a tooth can alter your aesthetics and appearance, as well as your chewing function and even your speech.
Due to this, different dental techniques and materials capable of providing an efficient solution to tooth loss have been developed.
However, the multiple options can lead you to doubt what could be the best alternative.
In this article, we will discuss the main differences between implants and fixed bridges to help you decide which is your best option.
Dental implants are prosthetic devices that are screwed into the bone to simulate the tooth root, in order to place a crown on them.
Dental implants can be used to replace single teeth or groups, in cases of multiple absences. They can even be used as bases for total dentures in those patients who do not have any teeth in their mouths.
One of the main characteristics of implants is the similarity they have with natural teeth. Due to the way they are designed, dental implants feel almost the same as having a real tooth rather than a foreign object in the body. Furthermore, they function as a natural tooth would.
The fixed bridge, on the other hand, is a type of restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth by means of crowns that are placed on both sides of the space where the teeth have been lost.
The crowns of both abutment teeth are joined through a crown that fills in the space left behind by the missing tooth, called a phantom.
Additionally, these restorations can be made with different materials such as porcelain, ceramic, lithium disilicate or even metal. This allows the dentist to have different options to choose the material that best suits the needs of the patient and the area to be restored, whether aesthetic, functional or both.
implant vs. fixed bridge
Both types of restorations have a large number of advantages and disadvantages, which must be evaluated to determine the best treatment depending on your needs.
Although implants have a 98% success rate, successfully placing them requires an extensive preparation phase. Therefore, it is necessary to perform different laboratory tests, x-rays and even take CT scans. Even, on some occasions, the quality or quantity of bone is not ideal and it is necessary to carry out a bone graft.
Finally, it is necessary to wait 4 to 6 months after the surgery to be able to make the crown that will be placed on the implant.
On the contrary, the fixed bridge requires less work time and has a simpler preparation phase, where a few x-rays and impressions are enough to carry out the analysis of the case.
However, in order to place a fixed bridge it is necessary to wear down the teeth adjacent to the missing one. This represents a great disadvantage in cases where these teeth are healthy, since the worn enamel and dentin cannot be recovered.
In turn, the fixed bridge requires meticulous care, since they are more likely to retain food debris and plaque.
Despite the differences, both alternatives offer excellent results in terms of aesthetics and function.
To determine which is the best treatment based on your needs, it is necessary to consider the time of work, cost and maintenance.
Dental implants offer more natural results, but are more expensive and require months of waiting and work.
On the other hand, fixed bridges are cheaper, easier to make and can be made in a few sessions. However, care can be more complicated.
Take all these features into account, consult with your dentist and you will undoubtedly choose the ideal option for you.