If you have an old dental bridge, it may be suffering from the same problems as other old restorations. Even if it was attractive to begin with, it may not be attractive now. Or it may be worn out or damaged. If that’s the case, you might think you want to replace it with a dental implant. Although that’s possible, it may require extra steps and may not be advantageous.

Replacing Bridges with Dental Implants

Dental Implants and BridgesOne of the things that makes dental implants unique as a tooth replacement option is that they stimulate your jawbone. Under dentures and dental bridges, your bone is removed–or resorbed–by your body because it seems like it isn’t in use any more. This means that if you’ve had a dental bridge for a long time, there may not be enough bone left to support a dental implant.

Often, we can overcome this limitation using a bone graft that can build your bone back up, but it takes longer to complete the procedure. The good news is, the results can be just as good.

Is It Worth It?

However, the other question you have to ask is whether it’s worth it to move to a dental implant from a dental bridge. A dental bridge can be a good restoration. It can be attractive, highly functional, and long-lasting. With your teeth on either side of the gap already modified to accept dental crowns, there is less benefit to getting a dental implant.

The most common situation where this replacement is warranted is when forces on the bridge are threatening or already causing damage to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth. This is most common with a cantilevered bridge, one that has only one tooth to support it, but it can happen anywhere. In this case, removing the bridge might be the only way to save your teeth.

If you are looking to replace an old dental bridge, we can help you decide whether the best replacement option is another bridge or a dental implant. Please call (843) 706-2999 for an appointment with a Hilton Head cosmetic dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.