Answering The Question Of Dental Bridge vs Implant
When you need to answer the question of dental bridge vs implant you need to assess your own needs, and how an implant or bridge could fulfil them. Both bridges and implants can be used to replace lost or missing teeth but they are technically very different approaches to similar challenges and their efficacy will depend on your specific case.
Let’s take a look at both courses of treatment and the circumstances under which each is most effective.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a mechanical root that is placed surgically into your jawbone. It’s usually made from titanium. Over time it will fuse into your jawbone and provide a support structure for a crown.
What is a dental bridge?
Dental bridges are comprised of two or more crown and are used to close up the gaps that are created by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge uses the other teeth as a support structure.
What are the benefits of using dental implants?
One of the areas that implants are superior to bridges is the fact that they exert much less pressure on other surrounding teeth and bone. They also offer reduced risk to the strength and life span of the jaw bone.
Dental implants will probably last for the rest of your lifetime if you look after them.
What are the benefits of a bridge?
Bridges have maintained some degree of popularity because of their relative affordability, as compared to dental implants. They also offer a treatment solution for patients who can’t have bone grafts. They also present a much quicker and simpler solution for missing teeth than dental implants, and may even be offered to you as a temporary solution before having an implant.
Bridges can work well if you are missing teeth in different locations and need a cost-effective solution to replace them.
Dental implant vs bridge: The disadvantages
Implants do have a high success rate and are expected to last a lifetime but they are also significantly more expensive, particularly if you need an implant in more than one location. They also tend to be more complex procedures which can take longer to complete, and longer for you to heal afterwards. It could take up to six months to heal fully after the implant procedure.
Dental bridges also have their own set of shortfalls, most notably the wear they can cause on the supporting teeth, as well as making the natural teeth more susceptible to decay.
Dental bridges that are ill-fitting are more uncomfortable to wear, and can move around when you eat, creating irritation. Sometimes patients feel less confident with a bridge because of its unpredictability.
It is sometimes necessary to combine the two options, such as in cases where a patient is missing multiple teeth in succession and a bridge is anchored into place using two dental implants.
What’s the right solution for you?
It may be worthwhile considering some questions before committing to a
particular treatment plan:
1. How quickly do you need to ‘fill the gap’?
If you can’t wait for an implant, for example, if you’ve lost a front tooth, a bridge may provide temporary relief.
2. How many teeth are missing?
If you are missing multiple teeth, or multiple teeth in different locations a bridge may be more practical and more affordable.
3. What condition is your jaw in?
If you do not have enough bone in your jaw and cannot have a bone graft for an implant, a bridge would be more viable than a dental implant.
4. What are your budget restrictions?
Because they are so resilient and long lasting implants are more expensive. If your budget just doesn’t stretch that far, a bridge is more affordable.
If you need professional input to help you choose between a bridge and an implant give our friendly team at Ava Maria Dental a call today: (03) 8797 5078.