Are you facing the dilemma of choosing between a tooth implant vs a bridge? Both procedures provide the same result – a beautifully restored smile – but they are two very different treatments with two very different price points.
Knowledge always helps in a situation like this and understanding the pros and cons of each procedure can sway you towards an informed decision and help you decide what’s right for you.
So, without further ado let’s take a closer look at the difference between a dental bridge vs an implant.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is used to replace a gap in the smile caused by one or more missing teeth. It consists of two dental crowns with a false tooth (pontic) suspended in between. The two crowns are fitted onto the teeth at either end of the gap (abutment teeth) while the pontic tooth rests on the gums closing the gap and restoring the smile.
A dental bridge can contain one or more pontic teeth, is permanently fixed in the mouth, and can only be removed by a dentist.
So, what about the pros of a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are typically regarded as the most cost-effective method of replacing missing teeth although in the long term this may not be the case (more about that later). Furthermore, a dental bridge does not require drilling or a bone graft which makes it less invasive compared to dental implants.
Other pros of a dental bridge include:
- Bridges can take as little as 3 weeks from the initial consultation, making them a great option for those looking to restore their smile quickly
- The crowns used for the appliance are made from porcelain and shade-matched to surrounding teeth so they blend seamlessly into the smile
- A dental bridge restores both aesthetics and improves bite and chewing functionality
Cons of a dental bridge
- The otherwise healthy abutment teeth have to be filed down and reshaped to make room for the dental crowns that support the bridge.
So that’s all you need to know about a dental bridge, but as you know, this article is about a tooth implant vs bridge, so let’s take a closer look at tooth implants and their respective pros and cons.
What are dental implants?
Tooth implants are the closest you’ll ever get to having your natural teeth back again and in this respect, there is simply no comparison between a dental bridge vs an implant. That’s because dental implants mimic natural teeth by looking and functioning in the same way. Because they integrate fully into the mouth by fusing with the surrounding bone tissue, dental implants are also a permanent fixture in the mouth.
So, let’s take a look at the pros of dental implants
- Implants have a success rate of 95%
- They also have the potential to last for two or more decades although the dental crown is likely to need replacing once or twice in that time
- Dental implants are a standalone procedure that helps support adjacent teeth with no grinding down of healthy teeth necessary
- Because implants are fitted into the jawbone they act as tooth roots to stimulate the bone and put a halt to the bone loss and jaw shrinkage that naturally occurs when a tooth is missing. No other tooth replacement procedure can do this.
- Dental implants restore practically all of the bite functionality meaning no dietary restrictions and moreover, they are more stable than a dental bridge.
Okay, so what about the cons?
There is one main con that can prevent people from having an implant and that’s the fact that they require a surgical procedure and not everyone will be a suitable candidate. Implants also take between 6 to 9 months to complete from the first consultation and are the most expensive procedure to replace missing teeth.
Tooth implant vs Bridge – The final thoughts
When it comes to deciding between dental implants and a bridge there are several things to consider. How many teeth need replacing, your budget, and how do you feel about a procedure that involves multiple stages?
If you’re looking for a perfect natural-looking smile that could last your lifetime, then dental implants are by far the better option. While initially, they may cost more than a dental bridge, you need to consider that a bridge will need to be replaced every 5-7 years. So, in the long term, dental implants can prove extremely cost-effective.
If you’re weighing up your options and trying to decide between a tooth implant vs a bridge, why not schedule an initial consultation with the friendly experienced team at Beyond 32 Dental. We provide the latest in digital dental implants.
Call us on (02) 9158 6334 today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.