Dental bridges and dental implants are different types of treatment that allow you to replace one or more missing teeth to bring back that remarkable smile. These replacements give the rest of your teeth a perfect alignment while complementing the shape of your face and helping you hear or speak properly.
The two are the most common options people consider before going on board with the treatment. Understanding these two restoration methods will help you choose the right one and get the results you want.
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Understanding the Difference Between Dental Bridges and Dental Implants
In a nutshell, dental bridges are false teeth supported by the other teeth surrounding the gap left behind. As hinted by the name, they bridge the gap between two or more natural teeth.
Dental bridges are made from different materials, including porcelain, plastic, alloys, and gold among others. They can last for many years, but they require special care to keep them clean just like surrounding teeth.
As easy as they sound, dental bridges may not work for everyone. The treatment process involves the examination of the supporting teeth to ensure that they can hold them in place. Decaying or cracked teeth may not be suitable. But if they are healthy, the dentist will attach a pair of crowns to the anchoring teeth, also known as abutment teeth, on both sides of the gap, and an artificial tooth, or a pontic, between these crowns, will be the replacement.
Although dental bridges look natural, and they perfectly cover the hole left by your missing tooth, they are not permanent. They are a great option if you are looking for a low-cost teeth replacement solution.
If you would rather have a permanent solution, one that feels more like your natural tooth, then dental implants is a good option. Dental implants are prosthetics fixed to your jaw and capped with a premium crown that looks exactly like your original tooth. These implants are long-lasting, and unlike your teeth, they do not decay but can get damaged in case of an injury during an accident.
Dental implants include a titanium root that supports a crown. This crown is surgically implanted into the jawbone, where it will eventually fuse to remain anchored permanently. The process could last between three and six months. Since the implants are inserted into the jawbone, your gums and the surrounding teeth remain healthy.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges and Implants
Both dental bridges and implants guarantee natural-looking results, but each option comes with some advantages and disadvantages. Here are few pointers to help you compare:
Pros of Dental Bridges
• Can be covered by your insurance plan
• No invasive surgery and requires no grafting of the bone
• Attracts a lower upfront cost compared to dental implants.
• The treatment process could take only two visits spread over a speculated time, except with incidences of damage
• Restores your smile and keeps your other teeth in place
• A single bridge can support multiple teeth
Cons of Dental Bridges
• Although they can last for more than a decade, they still need to be replaced, usually after every five to seven years
• As they age, they may lose their natural look
• Unlike implants, they can damage the healthy teeth surrounding the gap or worse, lead to cavities and tooth decay due to the removal of some significant portion of tooth structure to anchor the pontic properly
Pros of Dental Implants
• They can last more than 15 years and are the longest-lasting options currently available
• They can hardly be differentiated from the natural teeth, and they retain their look longer than dental bridges
• They keep your gums and the rest of the teeth around the implant healthy
• Have a high chance of success
Cons of Dental Implants
• The upfront cost is high and is less likely to be covered by your insurance plan
• The treatment process takes longer than that of dental bridges; takes up to six months
• Requires surgery, where grafting can be considered if there is insufficient bone to support the root
Dental Bridges vs Dental Implant Cost
Despite being less expensive, bridges need to be replaced in the future, which is not cost-effective compared to dental implants that last long. This is the reason why from start to finish, implants cost more. The true cost, however, is dependent on several factors, including the type of implant or bridge you are getting, the number of missing teeth, the material used, and the extensiveness of the procedure.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
So, which one is better, dental bridges or dental implants? Let Smile Angels help you decide. Consult with our dentist and learn more about your teeth along with the necessary information you need to choose the right treatment option that works for you according to your needs and budget.