Did you know nearly 100% of adults worldwide have some type of tooth decay? Untreated tooth decay leads to tooth loss, which causes many people to look at dental implants or bridges to replace their missing teeth.
If you’re trying to decide between implants or bridges, you’ll want to look at the pros and cons of dental implants vs bridges. There are many factors to consider, like your budget and overall lifestyle.
Keep reading to learn all about dental implants and dental bridges. You’ll learn the pros and the cons, and in the end, you’ll be able to decide which route to take.
Understanding Dental Implants: A Comprehensive Guide
Dental implants replace your tooth roots when you’re missing your natural teeth. Dental implants have titanium posts that are surgically inserted into your jawbone. As you heal, new bone grows around the implanted titanium.
Once your implant is healed and strong enough, your dentist will attach an artificial tooth on the top of the implant and seal it into place. Depending on your needs, you can get a single tooth implant or a multiple tooth implant.
Insight into Dental Bridges: What You Need to Know
If you have missing teeth, you can get a dental bridge to fill the gap it creates. Once fitted, it’s cemented into place and becomes a permanent fixture. Dental bridges are usually made of porcelain, metal, or ceramic materials.
Traditional dental bridges use the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap for support. You’ll have crowns placed on both of the adjacent teeth to support the bridge and a false tooth placed to fill in the gap.
Finally, if you only have one adjacent tooth for support, you can choose a cantilever bridge. These bridges connect to one tooth after a crown is placed.
Making Informed Decisions: Choosing Between Dental Bridge and Implant
Both dental implants and bridges can give you natural-looking results, but it’s important to look closely at the pros and cons of both of them.
Pros and Cons of Bridges
As opposed to implants, dental bridges don’t require any type of invasive surgery, and you only need 2 to 3 visits to your dentist’s office to complete the entire procedure. Other pros of dental bridges include:
- Your dental insurance is more likely to cover at least part of the cost
- You don’t need any invasive surgery
- They’re more cost-effective initially
- The recovery time is quick
Dental bridge cons include:
- You’ll need to start looking at replacing them after 10 to 15 years
- Over time, their overall appearance looks less natural
- They can damage the healthy teeth around your missing tooth
- They can become loose over time
- Bridges can be challenging to clean
Assessing Dental Implants: Benefits and Drawbacks
Unlike dental bridges, dental implants don’t damage the other healthy teeth that surround your implant. Other pros of dental implants to look at include:
- They retain a natural look longer than bridges do
- They’re durable and last 15 years or even your entire life
- Implants have a high success rate
- Implants tend to feel more like natural teeth
Dental implant cons include:
- Implants are less likely to be covered by insurance
- You can have surgical complications
- It can take six months or more for the entire process
- You’ll pay a higher upfront cost
- You’ll need bone graft surgery if you don’t have enough jawbone for implants
Making Informed Decisions: Choosing Between Dental Bridge and Implant
Your first step is to talk to your dentist. They can advise you about the best type of tooth replacement based on your overall dental health. You’ll also need to consider specific factors in your life, such as:
Comparing Costs: Financial Considerations of Dental Implants and Bridges
The cost of these dental procedures plays a huge role in your decision-making process, so your first step will be to talk to your insurance provider to see what costs they will cover for each dental procedure.
Most of the time, your dental plan won’t cover the cost of a dental implant, while many will cover at least 50% of the cost of a bridge. Insurance providers may reimburse a small part of the implant procedure in some instances.
Otherwise, you’ll have to look at dental financing or another payment method. Dental bridges can cost around $3300 for a single tooth, while implants range from $6,000 to $7,000 for a single tooth.
You’ll have to consider these costs long-term as well, as implants tend to last longer than bridges. You won’t be spending as much money in the future to have them tightened or replaced as you would for a bridge.
Impact of Missing Teeth: How Quantity Affects Your Choice of Dental Implants or Bridges
If you’re missing more than one consecutive tooth in a row, a dental bridge may be a better option for you in terms of cost and surgery.
While one implant can support two missing teeth in most cases, you’re looking at more surgery to have multiple implants placed if you have many missing teeth.
Considering Your Health: How Overall Wellness Influences Dental Implant or Bridge Decisions
You’ll also want to consider how healthy you are overall. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, then implant surgery may cause further complications for you.
Also, if you have any other type of chronic medical condition that causes you to visit the doctor frequently, you may not want to undergo the stress of implant surgery.
On the other hand, if you’re in good health and don’t have any history of surgical complications, implant surgery may be the better option for you.
Consult with Your Dentist: Discussing Dental Implants and Bridges Today
Now that you know the pros and cons of dental implants vs bridges, you’ll be better able to talk to your dentist about these options.
If you need to find a dentist, the professionals at The Dental Team can help you with your dental care needs. We offer implants, bridges, dentures, and many other dental services to help you to restore your dental health.
We can guide you through your tooth restoration needs and help you reach a decision you’re happy with. We service Mississauga, Milton, Brampton, and Vaughan, so be sure to contact us today to make an appointment!
Typically, dental implants tend to be more expensive upfront compared to bridges. However, they are a long-term investment due to their durability and potentially lower maintenance costs over time.
Dental bridges can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. However, they may require replacement over time, typically every 10-15 years, depending on the individual’s oral health and habits.
Not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants or bridges. Factors like overall health, jawbone density, and gum condition are considered when determining eligibility. A dental professional can assess your situation and recommend the most appropriate option.
Dental implants require regular oral hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, similar to natural teeth. Proper care helps ensure their longevity and success.
Dental bridges rely on adjacent teeth for support, which might require some alteration of those natural teeth. As a result, bridges may have a higher risk of damage or failure due to issues with the supporting teeth.
Tooth decay, also known as cavities or caries, is caused by a combination of factors, including:
- Bacteria in your mouth: The human mouth is full of bacteria. Some of these bacteria form a sticky substance called plaque on the surface of the teeth.
- Frequent snacking and sipping sugary drinks: When you consume foods or drinks that contain sugar, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene practices: Not brushing and flossing regularly allows plaque to build up and teeth to decay over time.
- Not getting enough fluoride: Fluoride, a natural mineral, can help prevent cavities and can even reverse the earliest stages of tooth damage.
To prevent tooth decay:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Preferably, brush after each meal and especially before going to bed.
- Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners.
- Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacking. Avoid carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips, which can remain on the tooth surface.
Check with your dentist about the use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth, and about use of dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from decay.
It’s crucial to have healthy gums and good overall oral health before getting dental implants or bridges.
If you have gum disease, it needs to be treated and fully resolved before considering these procedures. Gum disease can lead to bone loss in the jaw, which can make dental implants less successful. Similarly, bridges also require healthy teeth and gums for proper support.
Other dental issues like tooth decay or infections should also be addressed prior to these procedures.
However, each situation is unique, so it’s important to consult with a dental professional who can evaluate your individual circumstances and provide personalized advice.
Please note that while I strive to provide accurate information, it’s always best to consult directly with a dental professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.
Yes, both dental implants and bridges can shift or move over time, but the reasons and likelihood are different for each.
Dental implants are designed to fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This makes them a very stable restoration option and movement is highly unlikely. However, if the implant isn’t properly placed, or if the patient experiences bone loss, an implant can become loose or shift.
On the other hand, dental bridges rely on the surrounding teeth for support. Over time, these natural teeth can shift or decay, which may cause the bridge to move. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene can help maintain the integrity of both dental implants and bridges.
Keep in mind that any abnormal movement with either restorations should be addressed by a dentist as soon as possible to prevent further complications.