Dental Bridge Vs. Dental Implant: Which One Should I Choose?

September 17, 2018

There are many different reasons why someone might lose a tooth. In most cases, tooth loss is caused by either significant decay or damage to a tooth that either causes it to fall out of its own accord or leaves your dentist no choice but to extract it for the sake of the health of your other teeth and to stop you from being in pain. In some instances, a trauma such as a trip or fall or even a car accident can leave you with a tooth that has been knocked out and is unable to be restored.

Even a single gap in your smile can have a significant impact on both the way that you use your mouth and how you feel about your smile. Fortunately, if you have a missing tooth, there are primarily two different treatments which may be recommended to you. You will need to choose between having a dental bridge or a dental implant. But, how do you know which is right for you? Let's have a look at each solution and how they compare.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a restorative dental solution that is designed to bridge the gap that has been left by a missing tooth. The device attaches to the teeth on either side of the gap using crowns placed over the top of them. These teeth become known as abutment teeth. The false tooth, known as a pontic, then attaches to this framework and fills the gap.

The entire bridge is custom-designed, from the crowns that fit over the abutment teeth to the false tooth itself. The shape and color of the bridge will fit fairly seamlessly with your natural teeth, making the solution very discreet.

Benefits of choosing a dental bridge

There are various advantages to choosing a dental bridge. These include:

- No need for invasive surgery. Aside from filing down the natural enamel of the abutment teeth, which is done under local anesthetic, there is no invasive or surgical aspect to a dental bridge.

- No healing/recovery time needed.

- A tried and tested solution. Dental bridges have been used successfully for many years.

- Can be used if there is a lack of density in the jaw bone – something which can cause a problem for patients who are considering dental implants.

- Less expensive than dental implants.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an innovative new solution for tooth loss that works by implanting a metal post into the jaw bone, to which the prosthetic tooth is attached. Each implant post is made from titanium, a biocompatible material which is extremely unlikely to be rejected by the body. Our dentist must drill down into the jaw bone via the gum to insert the implant post, which protrudes above the gum line. The prosthetic tooth, which takes the form of a porcelain crown, is then attached to the post. Each prosthetic tooth is designed and color-matched to your existing teeth.

Once the implant post is inserted into the jaw bone, the bone grows around it, fusing it into place. This process is known as osseointegration and is essential for the success of the treatment. If the patient has low density jaw bone or other issues with this area, they may not be considered a good candidate for the procedure.

Benefits of choosing a dental implant

Dental implants are fast becoming the solution of choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth, thanks to the unique benefits they offer, including:

- No impact on the teeth neighboring the gap

- Dental implants are less vulnerable to decay and gum disease than a dental bridge

- Extremely successful with a success rate of over 98%

- A solution that is considered more natural and discreet than any others

- Dental implants have been shown to last upwards of 20 years

- Minimal to no maintenance, compared to a dental bridge which will normally require replacing every 10/15 years

- Same-day implants are possible for patients who meet certain criteria

Our dentist will be happy to discuss both options with you and help you find the solution which is most appropriate for your dental needs. Please don't hesitate to contact us to arrange your consultation appointment.