Tooth loss is fairly common in the United States due to tooth decay, gum disease, and traumatic accidents involving a blow to the mouth.
Researchers estimate that about 120 million Americans have a missing tooth, and about 36 million have no natural teeth left. And the longer you live, the more likely you are to lose your chompers: 25% of folks over 74 are missing all of their teeth.
Gaps in your teeth leave you vulnerable to several oral health issues, including:
Although you have replacement options, one option you should avoid is avoidance. Ignoring your missing tooth or teeth leads to dental issues that end up costing you more in time and money. Getting it fixed now is in your best interest.
Fortunately, Dr. Caesar Sweidan and Dr. Laura Smith at St. Tammany Periodontics & Implants in Covington and Slidell, Louisiana, can help. We have many years of experience replacing lost teeth using the latest technology and treatments to restore your smile.
If you have a lost tooth and are trying to decide whether to go with a bridge or a dental implant, we’re here to give you a look at both so you can make an informed decision.
Dental bridges are artificial teeth held in place by neighboring teeth. They’re typically made of porcelain or plastic that matches your natural tooth color.
We must shave down the two abutment teeth on either side to make room for crowns, which hold the pontic, or false tooth, in place. The new false tooth connects to the two crowns, forming a bridge that fills the gap.
Although a dental bridge can prevent your other teeth from shifting, improve your speech and chewing, and restore your complete smile, it falls short in a few key areas. You may need to replace your dental bridge every 5-7 years, and bridges require damaging the neighboring teeth for the crown placements.
If the abutment teeth experience decay and can’t support the bridge, you have to consider other options.
Dental implants replace lost teeth all the way down to the root. Each implant stays in place thanks to a titanium post anchored into your jawbone. The abutment sits on top of the post, and a crown caps it off — no need to damage your healthy teeth to hold it in place.
Although dental implants are more expensive than bridges upfront, they last a lifetime, so you don’t have to come back for a replacement.
The titanium post also provides an advantage over a bridge. It applies pressure directly to your jawbone every time you chew, stimulating healthy bone cell replacement.
Studies show that dental implants are superior to other replacement options because they deliver the following advantages:
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants, contact us at either of our two locations today.