What are better Dental Implants or a Bridge?
Dental implants and dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth.
In the event of tooth loss or tooth extraction, the main priority is to restore functionality. Having missing teeth can also affect your self-esteem and confidence as it affects your appearance and speech. Although both dental implants and bridges might appear to give similar results, both options are vastly different. Replacing missing teeth is not something to take lightly, it changes the structure of your mouth as well as changing your appearance (albeit for the better).
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is essentially a small screw that is usually made from titanium. It is inserted into a socket that has been prepared in the jawbone. Here it carries out the same function as the root of a natural tooth. There is a special fixing point at the top that attaches to an artificial tooth called a crown. The titanium screw does not cause unwanted reactions with the bone but bonds with it to secure the implant in place.
What are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are used to bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth. The bridge is supported by the natural teeth or implants on either side. It is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on each part of the gap. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and the false teeth that lie in between are called pontics.
What looks more natural Dental Implant or a Dental Bridge?
Dental implants look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. They are strong and stable, and they keep your smile confident. Crowns give the most natural appearance.
Bridges are not as natural looking as implants and therefore are not as aesthetically pleasing. Bone loss occurs in the area of the missing tooth which can appear and cause food lodgement. This can make it hard to clean leading to calculus formation, reduction in the level of gums, and also cause bad breath.
What will cause less damage to my surrounding teeth?
A dental bridge takes the support of adjacent teeth to replace the missing tooth. Since it’s not anchored in bone, there is a loss of bone in the area below the bridge. Preparing the abutment teeth on either side of the gap may damage perfectly healthy teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. A considerable amount of tooth structure is lost in reducing the adjacent abutment teeth to provide support to the bridge.
An implant is embedded in the jawbone and using the new tooth to bite and chew stimulates the bone, helping to prevent it from shrinking. Dental implants don’t use other teeth for support, unlike dental bridges. This helps to protect surrounding teeth.
What procedure will give me the results I want the fastest?
Like all good things a dental implant takes more time to complete from start to finish because it takes a few months for your implant to fully integrate into your jawbone, in many cases, we can create a temporary crown until the fusion has been completed and you are ready for your permanent restoration.
It is a relatively faster process to get dental bridge since it isn’t anchored in bone. It takes lesser time from start to finish and can be completed within a week or two. Since it doesn’t require surgical intervention, it is a simpler process compared to dental implants.
What lasts longer, a Dental Implant or a Dental Bridge?
One big perk about dental implants is that they can last a lifetime when they are high quality. Although dental bridges can last many years, they may need to be replaced on average between 4-7 years. In case the adjacent supporting teeth get decayed, the affected tooth might fracture or require a root canal treatment. In that case, the bridge will have to be replaced. The new bridge might be even more unesthetic in appearance as the crown will be longer to cover the space created due to loss of bone.
The Cost of Dental Implants vs Bridges.
Oftentimes cost is ultimately the deciding factor when it comes to selecting a treatment option. And in the case of dental implants vs dental bridges, the cost can be deceiving.
Although the cost of dental implant treatment is higher compared to dental bridges, it is cheaper when compared to the cost you might incur in the long run and will also prevent the pain, discomfort, and repeated visits to the dentist.
You can read more about dental implants here
Speak to your dentist about your eligibly for becoming a dental implant patient now.