Which is Better: A Dental Bridge or an Implant?

Losing teeth can have a significant impact on the appearance of your smile and also affect your self-confidence. Missing or extracted teeth raise common problems of infection, but the proper replacement is the key to a confident smile and self-confidence. But a commonly asked question is what is better – a dental bridge or an implant?

Which is Better: A Dental Bridge or an Implant?

What is Better: A Dental Bridge or an Implant?

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dentists provide with two top common solutions: the dental implants and dental bridges. However, many people face the question as to what is better – a dental bridge or an implant?

If you are looking for the best option, it is very important for you to understand well about the treatment options that are available for you. Let us look in details about what a dental bridge and implant is and the advantages and disadvantages of both to understand which one is better.

Dental Bridge:

A dental bridge is made of false teeth, which is placed to fill the gap of one or more missing tooth. It is a fixed dental restoration by fixing an artificial tooth in between the two adjacent teeth. The adjacent teeth are also covered with a crown to hold the false tooth in place. Dental bridges are less invasive than compared with the dental implants.

Advantages of Dental Bridge:

There are many advantages of dental bridges; some of them are discussed below:

  • Dental bridges are considered to be one of the most cost effective methods for replacing missing teeth
  • They are very quick and an easy method.
  • This bridge does not require any kind of surgery.
  • In case if bone loss occurs, this method does not require bone grafting.
  • Dental bridge does not replace a tooth root.

Disadvantages of Dental Bridge:

This method also has some limitations they are as:

  • Main disadvantage is that it can lead to reposition of bone tissue below the crown level which can create instability and also a shorter lifespan as a consequence.
  • Crowns last up to 7 to 10 years and this can make adjacent teeth weak and vulnerable to decay.
  • More amount of strain can be caused on the surrounding structures mainly between the two teeth which are attached to the device.
  • Dental bridges usually do not focus on the underlying structural problems.

Durability of Dental Bridge –

Durability of dental bridges mainly depend on good oral hygiene and the level of dental care taken. It can last for about 10 to 15 years with good care and regular check-ups. As your natural teeth remain below it, the bridge may fail more easily with time and can be susceptible to decay and gum disease. Dental bridge is less restrictive when compared with dental implant. The primary factor in determining the bridge candidacy or durability of dental bridge depends on health and stability of the supporting teeth.

Costs of Dental Bridge –

Cost is also a deciding factor before choosing the options. When compared to dental implants, dental bridges alternatively cost less ranging from $700 to $1,500. It cost less in the short term; however, it might have to be replaced due to their shorter life span.

When considering what is better, a dental bridge or an implant, you must take into account these advantages and disadvantages of dental bridge.

Dental Implants:

Dental implant are mainly surgical components that interface with the jaw bone or skull for supporting a dental prosthesis viz. a bridge, crown, denture, facial prosthesis as well as to act like an orthodontic anchor. These are artificial tooth root that are placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. This is a great option for people who lose teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury or due to some other reason.

Advantages of Dental Implants:

  • The main advantage of dental implants is that it strongly supports the jaw bone. This keeps it healthy and strong which also affects your face and smile as you age.
  • They remain for longer years for about 25 years with proper care.
  • They are designed to fuse with jaw bone and it looks natural and feels like your own teeth.
  • With the help of dental implants, you can live without the worry that the teeth might slip.
  • Dental implants functions like your own natural teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods anytime you want.
  • This method does not require reducing of other teeth and improves oral health.

Disadvantages of Dental Implants:

  • Main drawback seen in dental implants is it requires a multi-stage surgery process that can even create complications and anxiety in patients.
  • Takes much time for healing and can cause complications also.
  • It takes more time for bone integration.
  • Dental implant is an expensive treatment method.

Durability of Dental Implant:

When compared to dental bridges, dental implants are highly durable and last many years, roughly about 25 years. With good care and good hygiene, it can last a lifetime. The metal cylinder used in dental implants is normally made of Titanium and this material mainly fuses with the jawbone through a natural process known as Osseo-integration. These materials are very resistant to decay and gum problems.

Costs of Dental Implants:

When compared with dental bridge, dental implant tends to be more costly ranging from $900 to $3000. Dental implant might cost you much time and even money in short-term but in overall lifetime it actually save both for you. Dental implants are more restrictive than dental bridge and the procedure can take a bit longer to be completed.

Several studies on this regards have suggested that the need to replace one or more teeth, costs, health of other teeth, person’s needs and relevant factors need to be considered when deciding the most suitable option.[1]

How to Choose the Better Treatment Amongst Dental Bridge and Implant?

It is a difficult task to choose from the two options as both the treatment methods have their own pros and cons. The best treatment method would be the one which suits your condition. Hence expressing your condition to your dentist can make it easier to choose between dental bridge and implant. Your dentist will carefully analyze all the specific considerations of your situation to make the right recommendation for you. Dentist can provide with right solution that will be as gentle as possible while providing years of continued use. In some cases, your dentist can recommend both the procedures at a time. For example, if you have lost all the molar teeth, then your dentist at first needs to put in an implant at one end, where there is no tooth and then attach a cap to create a bridge at the other end. Your dentist will guide you with a trusted advice, on what is better, a dental bridge or an implant, in your case.

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