Dental implants and bridges are both tooth replacement options. If you have one or more teeth that are missing or can’t be saved and need to be extracted, one of these options can be used to replace them. Which option is better for you? It depends on a variety of factors. Here’s what you need to know about both to make an informed decision.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth and root system. The root portion is made of titanium and is surgically placed in the jaw where it fuses with the bone to achieve a solid hold like a natural tooth root. The crown portion is attached to the top and resembles a natural tooth. A dental implant functions like a natural tooth as well, providing the same bite strength as a healthy tooth. It is called a dental implant because the process involves essentially implanting an artificial tooth where the old tooth used to be.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is an artificial tooth or row of teeth that is suspended between two healthy teeth. The teeth on either side of the gap are fitted with crowns that have an artificial tooth suspended between them. The artificial tooth sits atop the gums using the teeth on either side as anchors. A bridge can replace one tooth or a few teeth in a row. It is called a bridge because it essentially bridges the gap between your teeth.
Which Option is Better for You?
There are a few different factors to consider when it comes to choosing a tooth replacement option, such as:
- Cost. When it comes to the cost of a replacement tooth, a dental implant costs more than a bridge. Because it is the higher cost option, insurance typically does not cover dental implants, whereas a dental bridge is more likely to be covered, though still only partly. But the reality of the situation is that you get what you pay for. Dental implants are considered to be the highest quality tooth replacement option, which is the reason for the higher cost.
- Number of teeth that need to be replaced. If you only need to replace one tooth, you may find that a dental implant is worth paying for. However, the cost of dental implants is on a per-tooth basis, so the more you need the higher the price. Some patients find that a dental bridge is not only less expensive, but also more convenient than receiving multiple implants.
- Long term vs short term solution. A dental bridge can last an average of 5-15 years, but a dental implant can last for 30 years to a lifetime. If you’re looking for a long term solution to your missing tooth, get a dental implant. If you’re looking for a short term solution that will fix the problem quickly but may not last, go with a bridge.
- Location of the tooth to be replaced. If the tooth that needs to be replaced is one of your front teeth, you can achieve a more natural look with a dental implant than with a bridge. But if the missing tooth is in the back, a bridge can work where appearance is not a priority.
Dental Implants and Bridges Can Work Together
Sometimes the best option is a combination of dental implants and a bridge. An implant supported bridge can be used when a few teeth in a row need to be replaced. The implants can be placed in the jaw to act as anchors for the bridge. Dental implants can also be used to support dentures.
508dentist Provides a Variety of Tooth Replacement Options
If you’re not sure which option would be best for you, 508dentist can evaluate your teeth and make a recommendation. We will discuss your options and priorities to help you determine which tooth replacement option or combination of options would provide you with the best results.