The dental bridge vs dental implant discourse has been going on for a while. And it is usually a point of discussion for people considering multiple dental restorations.
With all the available options in dentistry, it might be difficult to decide on what treatment you should opt for. Today, we’ll take you through the dental bridge vs dental implant discussion’s ins and outs.
We’ll compare the treatments in terms of their structures, pros, cons, uses, and finally cost.
Dental bridge vs dental implant structure
Dental implants are a 3 unit piece that resembles a single tooth. You have a root, a crown, and a small piece (abutment) to connect them both. Dental implants are not removable. In other words, once your dentist places them they stay in your mouth for nearly 20 years. These are typically a replacement for missing teeth.
On the other hand, you have dental bridges, mainly a chain of crowns. Dental bridges typically are 3 to 4 crowns cemented together. They’re customizable and come as one unit. Because they do not have a root, a dental bridge is usually just a replacement for damaged crowns. In special cases, it can also replace missing teeth. But for that to work, the missing tooth has to be sandwiched between two teeth for the dental bridge to gain anchor.
Although many patients look at dental bridges and implants as two separate treatments, you can merge the two together.
For instance, the last and first crowns in a dental bridge can have root implants. This makes for a perfect intermediate between the two options. Especially if you don’t have neighboring teeth to support the crowns of the bridge. For example, if you have 4 missing teeth, you can’t opt for a dental bridge alone. Instead, you have to either get individual dental implants or a bridge with implants.
Dental bridge vs dental implant applications
To better understand how the two treatments differ, we’ll put a list of applications for each.
You can opt for a dental bridge if you:
- Are missing more than one consecutive tooth.
- Have healthy or damaged neighboring teeth to support the bridge.
- Want a cost-efficient option for full-mouth or multiple-tooth restoration, especially if you merge them with implants.
You can opt for implants if you:
- Want to replace an entire dental unit, from crown to root.
- Have multiple missing teeth that are not consecutive.
- Want an option that will prevent bone loss in the jaw.
- Are looking for a long-term replacement since implants have a 20-year survival rate.
Dental bridge vs dental implant, which option is best?
Tooth loss comes with side effects that exceed vanity. Aside from causing self-esteem issues, tooth loss also alters your jaw. For instance, it causes bone loss. Once you lose a tooth, there will be no root to stimulate circulation in the jaw area. And over time, this will cause your jaw to lose density.
Getting a dental bridge will not prevent this from happening. Whereas opting for a dental bridge or a dental bridge implant will help prevent bone loss in your jawbone.
Another side effect of tooth loss is that it sifts the alignment of your teeth. Since both dental bridges and dental implants fill the gap with a crown, both treatments prevent this from happening.
If you’re considering a one tooth replacement, the dental bridge vs implant discourse will favor dental implants. Generally, implants are a better option considering they’re long-lasting. For dental bridges, you will need to get a replacement every 5 to 10 years. Whereas with dental implants you can get a replacement every 15 to 20 years.
Additionally, even if the teeth next to your missing or damaged tooth are healthy, your dentist will still shave them down to secure the bridge on them. So, it would be better in several aspects to opt for a dental implant in this situation. Unless the neighboring teeth are also damaged, then a dental bridge can correct the issue at once.
The dental bridge vs dental implant discussion yields a tie when considering prices. The cost of dental implants is generally close to that of a dental bridge. But if you’re getting a dental bridge with dental implants the treatment might come at a slightly higher cost.
For a full-mouth restoration, opting for dental implants will cost you a lot. And opting for dental bridges alone is not possible since there will not be enough teeth to support the bridge.
So, in this situation, you may consider a combination of a dental bridge with dental implants for a more cost-efficient alternative.
Dental implants require a small surgical process to place the implant. Whereas dental bridge does not need that. With both procedures, there will be a waiting period of around a month until completion. But with the CEREC technology, you can get both treatments in a matter of days.
But keep in mind that the CEREC technology is only compatible with ceramic crowns. If you were to choose another material for the crowns in your dental bridge or dental implants then treatment may take longer.
Dental bridge vs dental implant takeaway
Both dental implants and dental bridges are successful treatments in dentistry. But to choose one winner in the dental bridge vs dental implant discourse is difficult. Each treatment has its own set of pros and cons. Which treatment would be better relies solely on the situation. Where one treatment may be ideal in a situation, another would do better under different circumstances.
It is best to consult your dentist. You can also get a free online consultation with our medical specialists. All you have to do is fill out the form or contact us via WhatsApp directly. Our team will contact you ASAP and address all your concerns.