Dental implants and dental bridge are both great options for those that have missing or decayed teeth. Which one your doctor recommends and which one you prefer depends on your situation and personal preference.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into your jaw to replace missing teeth. These days, dentists prefer to use implants with attached crowns as they can help preserve jaw structure by preventing atrophy from bone loss. These implants are made of metallic (titanium) and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible and safe for your jaw.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A typical bridge consists of two crowns (one on each side of the gap created by the missing tooth/teeth) and a false tooth/teeth (that fill in the gap and is attached to the crowns).
These two crowned anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth. These supporting teeth can be natural teeth or dental implants, depending on your dental needs. The false teeth in between the anchoring teeth are called pontics. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials.
Pros & Cons of Dental Implants
Benefits Of Dental Implants
- Dental implants last longer than dental bridges. Dental implants can last up to 40 years or longer when properly cared for.
- Cost less in the long run. Dental implants may be twice as much as dental bridges but if properly cared for they can last for 40 years or longer. Compared to dental bridges that only last 10-20 years. The more frequent replacement of dental bridges ends up making them more expensive than dental implants in the long run.
Cons Of Dental Implants
- Consists of oral surgery. In order to place the implant you will need to undergo at least one if not two oral surgeries.
- Costs more than dental bridges. Dental implants are significantly more expensive than dental bridges.
- It’s a long process. The dental implant process can take 3- 6 months depending on how fast you heal. And if you need bone grafting the process will take even longer.
- Smokers cannot get implants. Due to a higher rate of implant failure, smokers cannot get dental implants or they need to quit before getting the implant.
- Requires sufficient bone structure for implantation or bone grafting if there is not enough bone structure to place the implant.
Pros & Cons Of Dental Bridges
Benefits Of Dental Bridges
- Cost less money. Dental bridges cost a fraction of the cost of dental implants.
- Does not require invasive oral surgery. Unlike dental implants, dental bridges can be placed without oral surgery.
- Short process. The dental bridge process only takes a few weeks from start to finish and requires only two dentist visits on average.
- Good option for those without sufficient bone structure for an implant.
Cons of Dental Bridges
- Dental bridges don’t last a long as dental implants. Dental bridges last on average 10-20 years if properly taken care of.
- May cost more in the long run. Although dental implants may be twice as much as dental bridges they may end up being cheaper in the long run. If properly cared for, dental implants can last for 40 years or longer. Compared to dental bridges that only last 10-20 years. The more frequent replacement of dental bridges ends up making them more expensive than dental implants in the long run.
- The surrounding two teeth will need to be permanently altered. With dental bridges you must file down the two adjacent teeth in order to place the crowns that then hold the replacement tooth.
- The two surrounding teeth must be strong and have no issues. The health and stability of the supporting teeth are very important in determining if your a good candidate for dental bridges.
If you’re struggling to make a decision between dental bridges and dental implants talk to your dentist. He will be able to walk you through your candidacy for each option, what you can expect with each option, and finally recommend an option he/she thinks would work best for you, your dental health, and lifestyle. To schedule an dental implant/bridges consultation fill out our online contact form or give us a call today at 703-822-5583.