What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants use a metal post to replace the underlying structure of a tooth. Over time, new bone will grow around the implant, once this happens and it is secure enough, a top part of the implant will be screwed on top and sealed into place. When a dental implant is implanted, the underlying structure of a tooth—the bone, ligaments, and nerves—are removed to prevent infection from spreading.
What is a Bridge?
A dental bridge is a bridge of fake teeth that attaches to remaining healthy teeth intact that are surrounding a gap. Teeth on either side of the gap may need to be shaved down to accommodate a bridge. Each tooth has a cap placed over it to help keep the bridge in place. If there are not teeth on both sides of the gap, a cantilevered bridge may work—this bridge structure will attach to a single tooth on one side and hang over the gap.
Pros and Cons of Both
There are many advantages to both implants and bridges. Depending on your situation, there may be a better option for you. Dental implants, for example, promote healing of bones structures and gums under and around the teeth.
A high-quality implant can last you a lifetime. It will also reduce the long-term risk that gaps and infections may pose to the jaw. Implants do require oral surgery and can take months to heal. This is much longer than dental bridges that at worst case scenario may take a few weeks. Implants can also be a costly treatment.
The price will vary based on your situation and your case, but if you need a large number of teeth replaced, it will be pricey. If you need to replace a large number of teeth, a bridge may be a better option for you. Implants are stain resistant and look very realistic.
Bridges are a very cost effective option—generally much cheaper than dental implants. Dental bridges also require less time, and no bone grafting. It’s a much simpler process. However, bridges are not as stain resistant as implants. Bridges are not as long lasting as implants, you will likely need to replace them every few years or so. Cantilevered bridges are bridges that are held up by a single tooth and can potentially create problems. They place stress on that tooth that can lead to dental problems.
The Right Choice for You
There is no simple answer as to whether implants or bridges will be better for you. It mainly depends on your situation. If you are missing a significant number of teeth, it may be better to try bridges. If you want a life long solution, implants may be your best option. Consult with your dentist on your options and any specific considerations that may apply to you. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more and consult with a dentist!