Wondering whether a tooth implant vs bridge is the right tooth replacement for you? Your first port of call should be a conversation with your dentist because no two mouths are the same. The answers to this question require a thorough understanding of a dental implant and what it does, as well as what a bridge is and how it can benefit you. Let’s look at the differences between dental implants vs bridges.
What Is A Tooth Bridge?
A few decades ago a dental bridge was your only viable option to replace missing teeth. With a bridge, a false tooth is set between two crowns, which fit over your natural teeth, to fill the gap left behind by your missing tooth. Effectively, it bridges the gap.
The biggest downside to a dental bridge is that the adjacent teeth need to be filed down in order to make space for the crowns. This weakens those teeth and makes them more susceptible to tooth decay. Because the components of the bridge are cemented in place, a dental bridge can be difficult to keep clean.
When Is A Dental Bridge A Suitable Tooth Replacement?
If the teeth adjacent to the empty space have fillings or will require crowns in the future, a bridge could be a good solution for you. If your teeth have been missing for a very long time and there has been significant bone loss, your dentist might recommend a bridge.
If you need to replace a tooth in a hurry and do not want to wait a few months for the healing required by a dental implant, a dental bridge may be a better option.
What Is A Tooth Implant?
A dental implant is a more modern and permanent tooth replacement whereby an artificial tooth root made from titanium alloy (the dental implant) is embedded surgically into your jaw.
Over a period of time (usually a couple of mouths) your jaw bone starts to grow around the dental implant and integrates it into its own structure. This process is called osseointegration and it is a very important feature of successful dental implant surgery.
Once osseointegration has taken place your dentist will create a crown that looks like the rest of your teeth, to fit over the implant.
Dental implants are very durable and long lasting. Because they are made from titanium they are strong enough to withstand the force that you bite and chew with.
And, because they are screwed into your jaw like your natural teeth, dental implants are stable and do not move around.
Dental implants can also be used as a support structure for a dental bridge.
When Is A Dental Implant A Suitable Tooth Replacement?
If you would like to replace one or more missing teeth without affecting the other teeth in your mouth a dental implant is a useful option. Dental implants preserve bone loss because they replace missing teeth at the roots.
If you have healthy gums and enough jaw bone, or you are a candidate for a bone graft your dentist might recommend a dental implant. If you have an uncontrolled chronic condition or a condition that affects your body’s ability to heal itself your dentist probably will not recommend dental implants.
Tooth Implant And Bridge: What’s The Cost Difference?
The initial outlay for a bridge is less than a dental implant, but dental implants generally have a longer lifespan and need to be replaced less frequently than bridges.
Arguably, the cost of a dental implant can usually be split over a few months or a few payments, because the procedure is managed in stages and comprised of a number of smaller procedures.
So, which is the right route for your dental health: a bridge or an implant? Once you have an overview of the pros and cons of dental bridges and dental implants you should have an in-depth discussion with your dentist.
Together you can compare the costs of implants vs a bridge, the time required to complete the procedures and your particular long-term dental plan. What is suitable for one patient may not be the best idea for another.
To find out more about dental implant vs bridge and other tooth replacement options speak to a professional. Call our practice for professional advice: (02) 8503 9902.