Several factors go into choosing the right option for replacing lost teeth. Besides immediate concerns, like comfort, appearance, and functionality, you should also consider how easy or difficult it will be to take care of your new teeth in the long-term. One of the many benefits of dental implants is that they’re easier to take care of than dental bridges, often requiring little more than what you already do for your healthy natural teeth.
Caring for a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is one or more replacement teeth, or pontics, that are secured in place by dental crowns bonded to surrounding healthy teeth. Bridges are fixed, meaning only your dentist can remove them, and sometimes, the space between the pontic(s) and your gums can harbor food particles, oral bacteria, and plaque.
By contrast, implants make long-term care easier in several ways. For example, if you’ve only lost one tooth, then an implant and crown be used instead of a dental bridge. The implant/crown combination mimics the root/crown structure of a natural tooth, so your dentist won’t have to modify nearby healthy teeth to support it. This leaves your healthy teeth intact and easier to clean every day, along with easier cleaning of your replacement tooth.
Besides a dental crown, implants can also be used to support partial and complete dentures for more extensive tooth loss. Like implant crowns and natural teeth, caring for your implant-supported teeth requires daily maintenance and routine professional attention from your dentist.