A dental implant and a dental bridge both act as tooth replacement but when weighing up the pros and cons of dental implant vs bridge, only an implant offers a permanent tooth replacement. Today we’re going to evaluate the pros and cons of dental implants and dental bridges so you can better evaluate what kind of tooth replacement will work best for you.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a metal, screw-like anchor designed to replace missing teeth at the roots. It is surgically embedded into the jaw, and after some time will undergo a process of osseo-integration where it combines or fuses with the jaw bone.
Once the dental implant has finished osseo-integrating with the jaw your dentist will fit an abutment and crown to the dental implant so that the final result looks just like the other teeth in your mouth.
The Benefits of Implants for Lost or Missing Teeth
Dental implants are considered the gold standard of tooth replacement options because they replace missing teeth at the roots, which is essential to keep the bone stimulated. Without tooth roots, you can expect bone loss to occur.
Dental implants also do not require any preparation to be done to surrounding teeth, unlike dental bridges. With proper care and good dental hygiene it is possible for your dental implant to last for the rest of your lifetime.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is made up by a false tooth that is held between two crowns that fit over the two adjacent teeth.
Essentially the adjacent teeth act as anchors or support structures for the replacement tooth. A bridge does not replace the missing tooth at the root, and is more of an aesthetic replacement. One of the biggest disadvantages of dental bridges is that the adjacent teeth need to be worn down, in order to make space for the two crowns to fit over them. In many cases the two adjacent teeth are healthy and strong, and need to be filed down purely to accommodate the crowns.
The Benefits Of Using Dental Bridges to Replace Lost or Missing Teeth
One of the biggest benefits of bridges is their initial or outlay cost. They are more affordable tooth replacements than dental implants at first glance, but they should be considered within the bigger picture too. With good care your dental implant could last for the rest of your lifetime, however your bridge will need replacement in the future. Essentially, if you are going to make your decision based on cost, you should probably factor in the cost of more than one dental bridge, depending on how long your dental practitioner expects it will last. On average a dental bridge could last for up to 10 years.
A bridge does restore facial symmetry and fullness, and can assist in pronunciation. It also performs the very important job of preventing the other teeth from shifting out of place, to fill the gap left by the missing tooth.
Dental Implant Vs Bridge: What’s Best For You?
When it comes to matters of durability, a dental implant’s permanence makes it a lot more robust than a dental bridge. A dental implant can better withstand the forces of biting and chewing than a bridge or dentures.
Sometimes patients are not eligible for dental implants because they have gum disease, uncontrolled medical conditions or other factors that prevent them from a more permanent tooth replacement.
Dental bridges are also much quicker to deploy as a tooth replacement than dental implants, which may take up to 18 months to finalize. If you do opt for implants, you can expect a multi-stage approach to treatment, and you can expect to visit your dentist on a number of occasions before you have replaced your tooth.
Generally a dental bridge can be completed in two visits and take just a week or two to finalize, which is a much quicker treatment time than an implant.
When comparing maintenance needs, both implants and dental bridges have similar requirements, and must be brushed and flossed twice daily. A dental bridge does run the risk of some degree of complication because over the way that the crowns fit over the adjacent teeth. If you have lost teeth because of decay it’s more important than ever to ensure you keep up with your regular dental check ups.
Even with regular brushing and flossing your dentist is in the best position to detect early signs of decay and stop problems from becoming cavities that out your other teeth at risk of being lost.
Ultimately the choice of what works best for you should be guided under the supervision of your dentist. Making the right choice is a matter of balancing out your short, medium and long term needs and coming up with the best solution that you can afford. While doing research is an important part of that decision-making process, it really should be guided by your dentist.
Still wondering whether a dental bridge vs implant will work best for you? Please Call us today at these numbers for a consultation.