Dental Implants Vs Bridges: Making The Right Choice For Your Smile

BY: Dr. Sandeep Sharma
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Dental Implants Vs Bridges: Making The Right Choice For Your Smile

Dental Implants Vs Bridges: Making The Right Choice For Your Smile

Dental implants and bridges are popular tooth replacement options that can give you a more beautiful smile. However, they have significant differences that make the other a better choice based on your situation. Understanding these differences, including each treatment’s pros and cons, can help you decide which procedure to choose.

Benefits Of Dental Bridges

Benefits Of Dental Bridges

There are a few benefits of bridges over implants in some aspects. Here’s a summary:

  • Procedure
    The dental bridge procedure is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require surgery. It is less invasive, with fewer steps than dental implants. Your dentist will simply need to take some impressions of your teeth, prepare the abutment teeth and place the temporary bridge while waiting for your permanent bridge from the lab. After two weeks, you will return to the dentist for the placement of your final bridge.

  • Recovery time
    Because the procedure is less invasive, the recovery time for dental bridges is also shorter. In most cases, you can eat your favourite foods and resume your normal activities within a few days.

  • Length of treatment
    The entire process can also be completed in as little as two weeks, while it takes 5 to 8 months (or more) to finish dental implants.

  • Lesser dental visits
    Dental bridges usually need lesser dental visits. Usually, only two or three, compared to the several required for dental implants.

  • Cost
    Dental bridges are typically cheaper than implants, making them a more affordable tooth replacement option for patients on a budget.

  • A bone graft procedure is not necessary
    One of the major requirements of dental implants is having enough bone to support the implant. This means that patients who have suffered from bone loss due to periodontal disease often have to undergo a bone grafting procedure before receiving implants, which can also add to both the cost and length of treatment. However, with bridges, this is not a concern.

  • Other health benefits
    Like implants, dental bridges can also help preserve the shape of your face and prevent the adjacent teeth of teeth gaps from shifting out of place.

Drawbacks Of Dental Bridges

While there are many benefits, dental bridges also come with disadvantages, including:

  • Shorter lifespan
    The average lifespan of dental bridges is about 5 to 7 years, though they can last up to 15 years with proper care. In comparison, implants can last ten years on average, while their lifespan can be up to 25 years or more with the right maintenance.

  • More difficult to clean
    Since dental bridges are attached to your existing adjacent teeth, they can be more difficult to clean and maintain compared to implants that stand independently. This makes it more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.

  • Dental bridges can’t help with jaw bone loss
    Unlike implants inserted directly into your jawbone and act as your artificial tooth root, dental bridges do nothing to help with bone loss in the jaw. This can cause your teeth to become loose over time and eventually lead to tooth loss.

  • Tooth loss
    Dental bridges require the reduction of your healthy natural teeth to support them in position, which can lead to future tooth loss in the long run. Implants, on the other hand, do not rely on other healthy teeth for support.

Benefits Of Dental Implants

Benefits Of Dental Implants

The following is a list of pros of dental implants that bridges do not:

  • Improved oral health
    Dental implants are inserted directly into your jawbone, which helps to keep it healthy and strong. This also preserves the natural shape of your face and can prevent the bone loss that can occur with tooth loss.

  • Lasting results
    Implants may not be a permanent solution, but they last longer than bridges.

  • No effect on adjacent teeth
    Since dental implants stand independently, they do not rely on other teeth for support. This means that your healthy adjacent teeth are not affected.

  • Easier to care for
    Dental implants are easier to care for than bridges since they do not require special cleaning tools or techniques. You don’t need to worry about hard-to-reach areas where food can get stuck. You can simply brush and floss them like your natural teeth, using a regular soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste.

  • They can replace all of your teeth
    Unlike bridges that can only replace up to four consecutive teeth that are missing, implants can be used to replace all of your teeth. This is especially beneficial for patients who have lost all their teeth due to injury or disease.

Drawbacks Of Dental Implants

Like anything, dental implants also have their drawbacks, including:

  • Cost
    The cost of implants is generally higher than bridges. Aside from the fact that this is an invasive procedure, you might also need additional treatments, such as sinus lift or bone grafting, before the implant placement, adding to the overall cost of your treatment.

  • Require oral surgery
    Dental implants require a surgical procedure wherein your dentist will make an incision on your gums to expose the bone and place a metal post (zirconia or titanium post). Sometimes, this can cause fear or anxiety in some patients.

  • Recovery time
    The healing period for dental implants is longer than it is for bridges. It can take several months (or even a year) for the fusing process to finish and heal properly.

  • Risk of infection
    Dental implants have a higher risk of infection at the site due to the presence of bacteria. This can lead to complications and delay the healing process.

  • Not everybody is a candidate
    Although dental bridges also require you to have adjacent teeth that are in a good state, implants have more qualifications to be eligible. For instance, you need to have enough bone structure to support the implant and healthy gums. Also, certain medical conditions and medications are contraindications to dental implants.

  • Possibility of implant failure
    Although dental implants have a success rate of over 95%, they are not 100% guaranteed. There is a small risk that they can fail to fuse with your jawbone or become loose over time due to various factors. Because of this, there are many things you can and cannot do during your recovery period.

Which Is Better Suited For Me To Replace My Missing Teeth?

It is up to you and your dentist to decide the ideal option for you. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, lifespan, ease of care, and overall oral health. So, even if you prefer implants, you may not be eligible for certain health conditions. Similarly, your dentist may recommend another alternative if you don’t have healthy adjacent teeth to support a bridge.

At the end of the day, it is essential to consult with your dentist to see which option is best for you.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants and bridges are good dental treatments to close tooth gaps due to missing teeth. They can help restore your natural smile, often better than dentures and act and function as your natural teeth, improving your quality of life. However, there are some key differences between the two that you should take into consideration. These include the cost, lifespan, ease of care, and effect on adjacent teeth.

If you want to take the first step towards getting dental implants or a bridge, schedule an appointment with one of the dentists at Clear Choice Dental. Call our Yokine dental clinic at 08 9345 0455 or our Maddington office at 08 9452 8877.

All the dentists at our clinics have years of experience with dental implants and bridges. They can assess your oral condition and help you determine the suitable option to improve your smile. This will happen during your initial consultation, wherein they will take X-rays, photos, and impressions of your teeth. They will also go over the treatment options with you in detail so that you can make an informed decision.

FAQs

This depends on the type of bridge you need, your location, how many teeth to be replaced, the complexity of the bridge placement and your dental insurance. But on average, you can expect to pay $4256 to $5763 for a traditional bridge with two crowns. According to the Australian national dental fee survey in 2020, a typical bridge can cost up to $1,800 per single tooth.

There are four types of bridges, namely: traditional bridges, cantilever bridges, Maryland bridges and implant-supported bridges.

Some private cover private insurance providers, but this depends on your policy. It’s best to contact your provider to clarify if you are covered before continuing with the procedure.

Dental bridges improve your smile by closing the gap between teeth. The false tooth (also called a replacement tooth, an artificial tooth or a pontic tooth) is attached to two adjacent teeth (abutment teeth) on either side of the gap. These abutment teeth support the pontic, and dental crowns are placed. After the procedure is completed, you can use them as your natural teeth.

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