Nobody anticipates losing a tooth. When you lose a tooth or multiple teeth in an accident or because they need to be extracted, you're not only dealing with the pain of missing teeth, but also the dilemma of how to replace them.
When one or more teeth need to be replaced, you have a couple of options: a dental bridge or a dental implant. Your best option is determined by your preferences and circumstances.
Expert dentist Nataly Vilderman, DDS, and our team at our San Francisco, California, dental office want to help you replace your missing teeth as soon as possible to restore your dental function and smile. The following are some questions to consider when deciding whether a bridge or an implant is the best option for you.
A dental implant is the clear choice if you want to replace a tooth with a false tooth that looks and functions as closely as possible to a natural one. Dental implants are a three-part tooth-replacement system that consists of the following components:
Individual dental implants are handcrafted to look like natural teeth. Each artificial root, or post, is inserted into your gum and bone separately. The titanium post then fuses with your jawbone, securing it as if it were a natural tooth. Because your mouth must heal completely between each step, the entire implant process may take several months to complete.
Dental implants are the most functional tooth-replacement option, in addition to their unparalleled aesthetics. When you chew, the artificial root places a healthy amount of stress and pressure on your jawbone, which stimulates the growth of new bone cells. Dental implants prevent your jawbone from atrophying over time.
Dental implants have the disadvantage of having to be surgically implanted. A dental bridge may be the best option if you want to avoid surgery and want a quick and painless tooth replacement.
A dental bridge is a false tooth (or series of false teeth) with an empty crown on either end. We modify and grind down the teeth on either end of the gap caused by your missing teeth before placing the dental bridge. These are called abutment teeth.
The dental bridge's spanning crowns are designed to fit over your abutment teeth and keep your bridge in place. Nobody can tell you were missing teeth because the crowns and false teeth are all custom-shaped and colored to match your natural teeth.
Dental implants are more of an investment than bridges, at first. If you need to replace several teeth, the cost is higher.
However, dental implants typically last longer than bridges and thus may be cost-effective in the long run. If you're worried about your budget, talk to us about which system is best for you and what payment options are available.
Many insurance companies cover the cost of dentures and bridges, which are both functional tooth replacements.
Dental implant surgery is typically regarded as a cosmetic procedure, and insurance companies do not reimburse for it. Let our staff know if you need assistance determining whether your dental insurance will cover the cost of your tooth replacement. We can also work out a payment plan so you can get the tooth replacement you want.
Replace a missing tooth or teeth with beautiful, custom-designed, and natural-looking dental bridges or dental implants to restore your smile. Call or text our office today at 415-665-7800 to speak with one of our friendly staff members. You can also book an appointment online.