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Dental Bridges Vs Implants
Westlake Village, CA

Dental Bridge diagram at Westlake Oral and Plastic SurgeryTooth loss is a serious issue. Even the loss of just one tooth can have a major impact on your overall quality of life. Functions that were once simple, such as eating and speaking, become much more difficult. Depending upon the location of your missing teeth, your smile, and your confidence may be affected. Healthy teeth can shift out of their natural alignment, altering your bite. You may then be faced with issues such as bruxism and severe jaw pain. Dental bridges and implants are two common options for replacing small sections of missing teeth. At Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery, we are here to help you understand the difference between the two.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges have been used for many decades to replace anywhere from one to three missing teeth. The most common type of dental bridge is a fixed bridge. This particular type of bridge consists of replacement teeth set between two dental crowns. The dental crowns are set on the adjacent healthy teeth, referred to as pontic teeth, and are designed to anchor the restoration securely in place. Dental bridges are made out of ceramic, a material that perfectly mimics the color and properties of natural tooth enamel.

Placing a dental bridge is similar to placing dental crowns. After a local anesthetic is administered, enamel is removed from the abutment teeth. This creates the space necessary for the restoration to fit naturally, and comfortably, in place. After the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken. These impressions are used to create your custom bridge. Once the bridge is finished, it is cemented in place.

Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges

Benefits of dental bridges include:
•  Bridges are a more affordable option for replacing missing teeth.
•  The dental bridge procedure is fairly simple and straightforward.
•  Only two visits are required.

There are also a few disadvantages to dental bridges:
•  Enamel needs to be removed from perfectly healthy teeth.
•  Even with your teeth replaced, the jawbone continues to resorb. As this occurs, the bone can change shape, which then leads to the need for a periodic replacement of your bridge.

Dental Implants

Implants are a more recent addition option for tooth replacement. They consist of a small titanium rod, an abutment, and crowns. The titanium rod, the implant itself, is inserted into the jawbone. It relies on a process known as osseointegration, or the fusion of the bone to the titanium. This helps to turn the implant into a stable root. The abutment is a connector, placed at the top of the implant. Finally, crowns are used to replace the visible structure of your missing teeth.

Implants require a surgical procedure. After a local anesthetic and sedation, incisions are made in the gums. Holes are drilled in the jawbone and implants are placed. The gum tissue is then sutured closed around the implants. Temporary teeth are placed while you heal. Once you have fully healed, impressions are taken, and your permanent replacement teeth are created.

Pros and Cons of Implants

Implants have several benefits:
•  Your replacement teeth are supported by the implants, rather than your teeth, providing you with greater comfort.
•  Your adjacent teeth do not need to be altered in any way.
•  They help to protect the health and integrity of your jawbone.
•  There are also a few downsides to implants, including:
•  They are one of the most expensive options for tooth replacement.
•  Surgery is required, which can mean a lengthy recovery period.
•  You may need a bone graft, another surgical procedure before they can be placed.

For more information on dental bridges and implants, and to schedule your consultation, contact Westlake Oral Surgery at (805) 267-9766 today.
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Dental implants and All-on-4® Treatment Concept has literally transformed millions of lives. Why not see what they can do for you or someone you love? Want to know more?

Call us at (805) 267-9766 to schedule a consultation, to see if dental implants are right for you.

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Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery
911 Hampshire Road Suite 4
Westlake Village, CA 91361

(805) 495-7416