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Dental Implant vs. Bridge

Dealing with missing teeth can be a challenging experience, and when it comes to choosing the right tooth replacement option in Eau Claire, WI, you're likely to have many questions. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a range of excellent solutions to restore both the function and aesthetics of your smile. 

Among these options, dental implants and bridges are commonly recommended, but they operate on distinct principles. To make an informed decision about which treatment is best suited to your unique needs, dive into this concise guide. We'll provide you with valuable insights to help you navigate the choice between dental implants and bridges, ensuring that you regain your smile's natural beauty and functionality.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant in Eau Claire is an artificial tooth made from three elements:

  • Metal post: The artificial tooth’s root that gets surgically inserted into the jawbone;
  • Abutment: A connective piece that links the post to the dental crown;
  • Dental crown: A prosthetic custom-made to match your smile and complete the restoration.

Implants mimic the look and function of natural teeth and can provide long-term oral health benefits by stimulating the jawbone, keeping your teeth from moving, and preventing facial changes.

What Are Bridges?

Dental bridges are a type of prosthetic that can simultaneously replace 1-2 missing teeth and restore damaged ones. The caveat is that all these teeth must sit consecutively on the jaw. 

A bridge has a cap (like a classic dental crown) on each side and 1-2 artificial teeth in the middle. The two caps anchor the bridge and keep it in place.

However, bridges are not usually recommended if the two anchor teeth are perfectly healthy. The process involves resizing the tooth by shaving the enamel, which is a permanent process. Still, if the anchor teeth have large cavities, are weakened, or are otherwise damaged, the bridges can provide extensive restoration with one blow.

Is It Better to Get a Bridge or a Dental Implant?

Both bridges and dental implants can provide fantastic results for patients. However, to make an informed decision, you should discuss your options with a dentist in Eau Claire to get the best recommendations. 

It’s crucial to consider your specific needs and oral health state, especially when it comes to dental implants. They are usually not a good solution for patients with jawbone loss, unhealthy gums, or pre-existing conditions that may affect implant healing, such as diabetes.

Bridges, on the other hand, have a lower threshold and may be used even if the patient is not a good candidate for dental implants.

How Shook Family Dental Can Help

Navigating your different tooth replacement options can get confusing quickly. Luckily, you don’t have to make the decision on your own. Dr. John Shook would be happy to talk to you about your different options and help you choose a procedure that can provide long-term benefits for your oral health. 

To get started, request a visit to Shook Family Dental online and stop by to learn more.

Have more questions about implants or bridges? Then feel free to call us at (715) 955-4401 today.