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Bridges, Crowns, and Implants: Which Is Right for You?

Missing teeth impact your whole life, especially when they affect your smile, or your ability to chew or talk. But you don’t have to let them hold you back anymore. 

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental crowns, bridges, and dental implants can solve all of your problems. However, while each of these approaches offer artificial tooth replacements, they differ in their application and outcomes. And many factors, like your current dental condition, medical history, and personal preferences, also play a role in determining which solution can serve you best.

Dr. Christian A. Pham and the staff at Crownridge Dental in San Antonio, Texas, have the expertise to guide you in choosing the best tooth-replacement option. And, with their caring and professional support at every step of the way, you can expect optimal results.

When to consider a dental crown

A crown is a protective cover or cap that Dr. Pham places over your tooth. This dental technique restores the structure and appearance of a damaged tooth. Common reasons to get a crown include:

Dr. Pham also uses crowns in combination with dental bridge and implant procedures. 

How dental bridges work

Dental bridges use one or more artificial teeth to conceal a gap resulting from missing teeth. Dr. Pham uses this fixed prosthetic to close, or “bridge,” the gap where the missing teeth belong.

A bridge uses your remaining teeth on both sides of the gap to anchor your new, artificial teeth. Dental crowns are attached to each of the abutment teeth to hold your artificial teeth in place.

Replacing missing teeth with implants

When you get a dental implant, Dr. Pham screws a titanium post into your jawbone to act as an artificial tooth root. During dental implant surgery, Dr. Pham makes a small incision in your gum to expose your jawbone and then attaches the post. Over time, the titanium post bonds with your natural jawbone.

This dental technique creates a sturdy base to support an artificial tooth — or dental implant crown — which mimics the structure and appearance of a natural tooth. 

What makes a dental bridge different from a dental implant?

Bridges and implants vary in the following key characteristics:

When you have a bridge, they also require careful dental hygiene to maintain the spaces between the crowns. You can maintain an implant, on the other hand, through normal brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings.

Is a bridge or implant more cost-effective?

A bridge usually has lower costs up front, because they require fewer office visits and dental procedures. However, a dental bridge may need replacing every 5-15 years, depending on your overall dental hygiene and conditions. You may also need adjustments to your bridge over time as your teeth change. 

Implants have higher costs on the front end because they require multiple steps for completion. But, once in place, an implant can last a lifetime without needing replacement. 

Depending on your individual dental insurance plan, both bridges and implants may qualify for coverage.

How do I know which is right for me?

In the end, the biggest part of deciding between bridges and implants is your personal preference. Do you want results fast? Are you willing to undergo oral surgery? Can you afford the difference in price?

During your consultation, Dr. Pham also considers your lifestyle in addition to factors like the health of your remaining teeth, dental hygiene, and your medical history to help you determine the best replacement option for your missing teeth.

Don’t let another day go by with missing teeth. Schedule an appointment at Crownridge Dental online, or call our office today to find out more about the benefits of bridges vs. implants. 

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