Missing teeth can have both immediate and long-term consequences that may challenge day-to-day activities and self-confidence. From reduced functional abilities, such as chewing and speaking, to changes in the shape and appearance of the face (“facial collapse”), missing teeth can create an array of challenges. Finding the right dental restoration can improve an individual’s overall quality of life in numerous ways. In this blog post, our Pasadena cosmetic dentist, Dr. Arash Azarbal, will explain and compare two common solutions for missing teeth: dental implants and fixed bridges. 

A dental implant is designed to look and feel like a natural tooth by replacing the missing tooth right down to the root. A titanium implant is surgically anchored in the jawbone, then fuses into the bone over the next few months before a porcelain crown is affixed to the top. Although it takes time, this process usually results in the most seamless outcome as a replacement for missing teeth. The number of dental implants needed is usually determined by the amount and location of the teeth that are missing. 

Alternatively, a fixed bridge can also be similar in function and appearance to natural teeth. To begin, the existing teeth on both sides of the missing tooth gap are adjusted so dental crowns may be fitted over the top. Then, using a resin cement, an artificial tooth (or several linked artificial teeth) are attached to the supporting crowns. Fixed bridges are the most common type of bridge as they are suitable for most patients and can be completed relatively quickly. 

In conclusion, here are just a few of the basic distinctions between the two treatments: 

Dental Implants 

Fixed Bridges 

Determining which dental restoration is best varies by each individual patient and the condition of their existing teeth and oral health. During an initial consultation, a thorough evaluation will be completed and further discussion about the optimal method can be provided. It is often helpful to seek treatment from a dentist that offers a variety of restorative dental treatments so they may share a balanced perspective based on the personal needs and goals of the patient. 

To find out more about dental implants and fixed bridges, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Azarbal to learn which dental restoration is best for you, please contact us today.