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Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Dental Bridges Vs Implants


If you lose a tooth, particularly one toward the back of your mouth, you might not think it is a huge deal. However, the truth is that even one missing tooth can have a significant impact on your life, even if it does not affect the quality of your smile. Tooth loss makes basic tasks, like eating and speaking, much more difficult. Food can get lodged in the space, increasing your risk for gum disease. Your healthy teeth begin to shift out of their natural alignment, causing other issues such as bruxism and TMJ pain. At Neil Starr, DDS, PC, we can replace your missing tooth. Before replacing the tooth, we will discuss your available options.

Traditional Replacement with Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a traditional treatment for the replacement of a missing tooth. They can be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth anywhere in your mouth. There are a few different types of dental bridges, including resin, bonded, cantilever, and fixed. Fixed dental bridges are the most common, consisting of the replacement tooth with two dental crowns. The dental crowns are located on each side of the fake tooth and are used to anchor the restoration in place on your adjacent healthy teeth. It is secured in place using specialized dental cement.

Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges offer several benefits, including:
•  Restoration of the functions of your missing tooth.
•  Your smile is restored.
•  The process is straightforward and only requires two appointments.
•  You only need a local anesthetic, which is done to prevent discomfort when preparing the abutment teeth.
•  They are the most affordable tooth replacement option.

Cons of dental bridges include:
•  We need to remove enamel from perfectly healthy teeth to ensure a proper fit.
•  They cannot stop the bone loss that follows tooth loss.
•  You may need a replacement later down the line.

Modern Treatment with Dental Implants

Dental implants are the modern treatment for tooth loss. This revolutionary treatment is highly versatile and can be used to replace any number of missing teeth from one to all of them. Implants consist of small titanium posts that are surgically inserted into your jawbone. The posts are integrated into your jaw in a process known as osseointegration. This is the process in which your natural bone fuses to the posts, gradually turning them into stable roots that are then used to support the ceramic crowns that replace your missing teeth.

Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

Pros of dental implants include:
•  They look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.
•  Your smile is completely restored, as is your confidence.
•  Implants are more comfortable, with your teeth being supported by the posts.
•  Your adjacent teeth do not need to be altered in any way.
•  The posts stimulate your jawbone just like the roots of your natural teeth, which stops and prevents bone loss.

Cons of dental implants include:
•  You have to undergo surgery.
•  Recovery can take several weeks to several months to complete.
•  They can be expensive.
•  If you do not have enough bone mass in your jaw, you may need a bone graft first.

If you are missing even just one tooth, it is essential that you have that tooth replaced, even if you cannot see the space it has left behind. For more information, and to discuss your options, call Neil Starr, DDS, PC today at (202) 897-0015.


Neil L. Starr, DDS, PC

Washington Office

1234 19th Street N.W. #306
Washington DC, 20036

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