Dental Implants vs Bridges

After losing a tooth or several teeth to gum disease, physical trauma, or any other reason, it’s imperative that you find the perfect solution in the fastest possible time. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be back to looking and feeling your best. While there are several options on the market, dental implants and bridges are the two permanent fixtures that you’ll be eager to consider.

Here’s everything you need to know before choosing the right option for your specific requirements.

Dental Implants vs Bridges: A Brief Look At Both

Before even contemplating which option might be best for you, it’s important to gain a deeper insight into what they actually are. While both dental implants and bridges are designed as permanent fixtures that stay in the mouth at all times, there are some very clear differences.

Dental implants are placed into the jaw bone (endosteal) or just above it (subperiosteal) and used to work as a false tooth root. They hold the tooth in place and sit next to the roots of the adjacent teeth.

Bridges offer a similar function. However, rather than having a prosthetic root planted into the jaw, crowns are fitted to the teeth sitting either side of the gap. This bridges the gap while the false tooth is held in place.

Essentially, then, the two options offer a fairly similar function in that they are used to support a prosthetic tooth or teeth. Nonetheless, they achieve this in contrasting manners, which is why it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each before deciding which solution may be best for you.

Dental Implants vs Bridges: The Pros & Cons

Both dental implants and bridges have their pros and their cons, which is why the perfect option for one user may not be the right solution for another. Analyzing the positives and negatives is essential ahead of making your decision, and there are several elements that need to be considered.

Here are the pros and cons of each option.

Dental Implants

Pros:

  • They look and feel like natural teeth. They are, by far, the second most natural solution after having the original tooth itself.
  • They protect the jawbone to ensure that the natural facial structure remains in good health and image for years to come.
  • They do not compromise other teeth by putting them under any strain. Instead, they serve as a standalone foundation for the false tooth.
  • They are manufactured from high-quality materials, offering fantastic reliability for many years to come.
  • They can be used to replace a single tooth or plug the gap left by several teeth with equal levels of success.

Cons:

  • You will need to make several visits to the dentist to complete the process, which itself can last up to 6 months.
  • You will need minor surgery too. Similarly, you may need to be sedated or use an anaesthetic to avoid pain and discomfort.
  • You will need to get used to the changing look and feel of your mouth following the insertion of the tooth.
  • You will need to complete various preparations to ensure that you are actually a suitable candidate for dental implants.

Dental Bridges

Pros:

  • They are available in multiple styles (traditional, Maryland resin-bonded, and cantilever). This gives you options.
  • They are a far cheaper solution, at least when you choose the right type of dental bridges for your needs.
  • They are easily added to the mouth, meaning that the entire process can be completed in weeks rather than months.
  • They are easier to acclimatize too as they cause minimal impact to your jawbone, allowing you to enjoy them right away.
  • They do not cause any pain and can often be completed without the need for any medication or recovery.

Cons:

  • You will be at greater risk of finding that the false tooth has not worked due to issues with the crowns.
  • You will only have the opportunity to use dental bridges to plug the gap left by a single tooth rather than multiple.
  • You will need the adjacent teeth to be in good condition, or else they will not be able to support the crowns and prosthetics.
  • You will need to work harder to prevent the threat of tooth decay to the adjacent teeth, which can be time-consuming.

Dental Implants vs Bridges: Financial Considerations

Investments into your health shouldn’t be governed by financial elements. In reality, though, the costs are almost certain to influence your decision. Even if you have a huge budget, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of getting value for money.

As a rule of thumb, a dental implant for one tooth will cost a little over $4,000. However, when you have several teeth missing, it will work out cheaper than simply multiplying that figure by the number of teeth.

Resin-bound bridges cost between $1,000 and $2,500 for a single tooth replacement. The overall cost in this case will be determined by a host of factors, including those mentioned above. Traditional bridges are far more expensive, but rarely justify it, which is why the resin-bound options are the answer if taking this route.

The direct costs aren’t the only issues to consider, though. Bridges are often covered by health insurance premiums, which is rarely the case when dealing with dental implants. Meanwhile, you should take the lifespan of each option into account. While bridges tend to last around 5-7 years, dental implants can last for three times as long. When taken care of properly, they may even last a lifetime.

When the financial elements are weighed up against the practicalities, functions, and appearances, you won’t go far wrong.

Dental Implants vs Bridges: The Conclusion

Both dental implants and bridges can provide a great solution to your tooth replacement needs. Each option has plenty to offer, which is why it’s crucial that you learn to weigh up the pros and cons against your individual situation.

The best way to do this is with the support of a professional dentist that can talk you through the various elements. Precision Periodontics and Implant Dentistry offers free consultations to discuss implants, bridges, and all other possible solutions. To find out more, give us a call today.