Difference between Three-Unit Bridge & Dental Implants
What is a three-unit bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed restoration that replaces missing teeth by attaching crowns to the teeth on either side of the gap. A three-unit bridge is a type of bridge that replaces a single missing tooth.
How is a three-unit bridge placed?
To place a three-unit bridge, the dentist will first prepare the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth for crowns. This involves removing some of the enamel from the teeth. The dentist will then take impressions of the teeth, which will be used to create the crowns and bridge.
Once the crowns and bridge are ready, the dentist will cement them into place. The crowns will be fitted over the prepared teeth, and the bridge will span the gap between the two teeth.
Advantages of three-unit bridges:
- Esthetic: Bridges can be made to look natural and blend in with your existing teeth.
- Functional: Bridges restore chewing and speaking function, and can help to prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of position.
- Predictable and reliable: Bridges are a well-established treatment with a high success rate.
- Less costly than dental implants
- Can be completed in a shorter amount of time than dental implants.
Disadvantages of three-unit bridges:
- Require the removal of enamel from supporting teeth
- Can be susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease
May require root canal treatment if the nerves in the supporting teeth are affected.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a surgical procedure that replaces a missing tooth root with a titanium post. The post is then used to support a crown, which restores the function and appearance of the tooth.
How is a dental implant placed?
To place a dental implant, the dentist will first make a small incision in the gum tissue and expose the jawbone. A hole will then be drilled into the jawbone to accommodate the implant. The implant is then inserted into the hole and the gum tissue is sutured closed.
The implant will need to heal for several months before the crown can be placed. During this time, the implant will fuse with the jawbone and become a permanent part of your mouth.
Once the implant has healed, the dentist will place a crown over the implant. The crown will be matched to the color of your natural teeth and will restore the function and appearance of the tooth.
Advantages of dental implants:
- Aesthetic, functional, predictable, and reliable
- Do not affect other teeth
- Are not susceptible to decay or gum disease
Disadvantages of dental implants:
- More expensive than dental bridges
- Require more planning and time to complete
- Require minor surgery to place the implant
- Require healing time before placing a permanent tooth
Which option is right for you?
The best way to decide whether a dental bridge or implant is right for you is to discuss your options with your dentist. They can assess your individual needs and recommend the best course of treatment for you.
Additional information for patients:
- It is important to discuss your medical history with your dentist before undergoing any dental procedure, including dental bridges and implants.
- Be sure to ask your dentist about the risks and benefits of each procedure, as well as the costs involved.
- After you have had a dental bridge or implant placed, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for care and maintenance. This will help to ensure the longevity of your restoration.