Dental bridge vs implant – is there an obvious choice? Dental bridges and implants are two options for tooth replacement. Bridges are less expensive and take less time in the dentist’s chair, but implants provide a more durable and long-lasting solution that prevents bone loss and does not damage neighbouring teeth.
There are several options available for replacing missing teeth. Dental bridges and dental implants are two popular options. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, and the decision between the two is influenced by a number of factors, including the number of missing teeth, the health of the surrounding teeth and gums, the patient’s oral hygiene habits, and the patient’s budget. In this article, we will compare dental bridges and dental implants to help patients make an informed decision.
What exactly is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a prosthetic device used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It is composed of one or more false teeth known as pontics that are attached to dental crowns on either side. The crowns are then placed on the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth gap, forming a bridge across the gap.
A dental bridge is typically installed over the course of two visits to the dentist. The dentist will prepare the abutment teeth, which are the teeth on either side of the gap, during the first visit. To make room for the dental crowns, a small amount of enamel is removed from these teeth. The dentist will then take impressions of the teeth and send them to a dental lab, which will fabricate the bridge. To protect the prepared teeth until the permanent bridge is ready, a temporary bridge will be placed.
The temporary bridge will be removed during the second visit, and the permanent bridge will be cemented in place. The dentist will make certain that the bridge fits properly and that the patient’s bite is not harmed.
What exactly is a dental implant?
Dental implants are prosthetic devices used to replace missing teeth. It consists of a titanium post surgically implanted into the jawbone and a dental crown attached to the post. The post replaces the tooth root and serves as a stable foundation for the crown.
Getting a dental implant usually necessitates several visits to the dentist. The dentist will evaluate the patient’s oral health and determine if they are a good candidate for implants during the first visit. This could include taking X-rays or running other diagnostic tests.
The dentist will schedule the implant surgery if the patient is a good candidate for implants. The dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue and insert the implant post into the jawbone during the surgery. After that, the patient must wait several months for the post to fuse with the jawbone, a process known as osseointegration.
Following the completion of osseointegration, the patient will return to the dentist to have the abutment and crown attached to the post. The abutment is a small piece of hardware that connects the crown to the post. The dentist will take impressions of the abutment and send them to a dental lab, which will fabricate the crown. When the crown is finished, it will be attached to the abutment to complete the implant.
Dental Bridge vs. Implant: What’s the Difference?
Both dental bridges and dental implants have advantages and disadvantages. Let us examine each option in greater detail:
Dental Bridge Advantages:
Dental bridges are less expensive than dental implants in general, making them a more affordable option for some patients.
Treatment time is reduced: Getting a dental bridge typically requires only two visits to the dentist, as opposed to several visits for a dental implant.
Dental bridges do not require surgery, making them an excellent choice for patients who are unable to undergo surgery.
Can be used to replace multiple missing teeth: Dental bridges are a versatile option because they can be used to replace one or more missing teeth.
Dental Bridge Cons:
Adjacent teeth may be damaged: In order to place a dental bridge, the adjacent teeth must be prepared and some of their enamel removed. This can weaken healthy teeth, making them more vulnerable to decay or damage.
Dental bridges typically last 5-15 years before needing to be replaced, whereas dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for.
Dental decay and gum disease: Cleaning under a dental bridge can be difficult, resulting in plaque and bacteria buildup. This can increase the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental Implant Advantages:
Longevity: Dental implants, when properly cared for, can last a lifetime, making them a more durable option than dental bridges.
No effect on neighbouring teeth: Dental implants do not require any preparation of neighbouring teeth, which helps to preserve their integrity and strength.
Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and maintaining the overall structure of the face.
Dental implants can be cared for in the same way that natural teeth are, with regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
Dental Implant Cons:
Costlier: Dental implants are typically more expensive than dental bridges, which may be prohibitive for some patients.
Surgery is required: Because surgical placement of the implant post necessitates a longer recovery period, it may not be appropriate for patients who are unable to undergo surgery.
Healthy gums and jawbone structure are required: In order to place a dental implant, the patient must have healthy gums and sufficient jawbone structure. Patients with severe bone loss or gum disease may not be suitable candidates for dental implants.
The decision between a dental bridge and a dental implant is ultimately determined by the needs, budget, and oral health of the individual patient. To determine the best course of treatment for their specific situation, patients should consult with their dentist.
The Bottom Line
Dental bridges and dental implants are both effective options for replacing missing teeth, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Dental bridges are less expensive and require less time in the dentist’s chair, but dental implants are more durable and long-lasting. Finally, the choice between the two is determined by the needs and oral health of the individual patient. Patients should consult with their dentist to determine the best course of action for their particular situation.
Is it better to get an implant or a bridge?
Individual factors such as oral health, budget, and personal preferences influence whether an implant or a bridge is used. Bridges are less expensive and require less time in the dentist’s chair, whereas implants are more durable and long-lasting. To determine the best option for your specific situation, consult with a dentist.
Why choose a dental bridge over an implant?
A dental bridge may be a good option for patients who have healthy teeth next to the missing tooth and want a less invasive, less expensive solution. Bridges also require less time in the dentist’s chair compared to implants. Bridges, on the other hand, can weaken neighbouring teeth and may need to be replaced more frequently than implants. To determine the best option for your specific situation, consult with a dentist.
What are the disadvantages of a dental bridge?
A dental bridge has the potential to weaken adjacent teeth, has a shorter lifespan than implants (typically 5-15 years), and is difficult to clean under the bridge, which increases the risk of decay and gum disease.
What lasts longer a bridge or implant?
Implants last longer than bridges and, with proper care, can last a lifetime, whereas bridges typically last 5-15 years before needing to be replaced. Furthermore, implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and preserving the overall structure of the face, which bridges cannot do.