Tooth loss is awful for your self esteem. You want to smile but you really, really don’t want people to notice that some of your teeth are on permanent vacation. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. You have options that the dentist can provide you. What is going to be the best, though, when it comes to tooth implants vs. bridges? In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of both in order to better help you to decide what solution will be the right one for you! First let’s go into what exactly dental bridges and dental implants are, then we will discuss the pros and cons and by our conclusion you should have a pretty good idea what you need. Sounds good? Let’s proceed!
Dental bridges are a solution for when you have a gap that has occurred from losing a tooth. The ‘bridge tooth’ is anchored on both sides to its neighboring, healthy teeth, thus forming the ‘bridge’. As it is porcelain, no one can tell that you are wearing a fake tooth and so in many cases this may be an optimal solution It does have it’s pros and cons, which we will go into later in this article.
Tooth implants, by contrast, are replacement teeth that are affixed to titanium posts that are set either directly in the jawbone or just under the gums(in cases when the jawbone will not support it due to bone density or other factors). These are a more recent solution which is quickly growing in popularity.
Bridge or implant: How do you know which ones that you need?
Determining whether you need a dental bridge or an implant is going to require knowledge of why you need one and what your specific needs are. To best do this, we are going to go into the pros and cons of each so that you can get a better idea what is involved.
Dental bridge vs. Dental Implants – The pros of bridges
There are a number of pros and cons for either selection. Out of respect for seniority, we’re going to review the ones for bridges first. Here are the pros:
- Strengthens the anchor-teeth – If you have cracked or damaged teeth surrounding, the bdige is actually going to reinforce the strength of its ‘anchor teeth’.
- Low maintenance – These can last a lifetime. Even regular porcelain bridges only need to be replaced every 10 years. Not bad at all.
- Time involved – Typically you are looking at just two visits to the dentist’s office and you are good to go!
- Cleaning – Just brush these teeth like regular teeth and you are okay. No fuss and no need to remove it like you would with dentures.
- Non-surgical – Getting a bridge requires no surgery, always a bonus!
- Cosmetically pleasing – Porcelain looks great when it comes to tooth replacement.
- Cost – Bridges have been around for awhile and since surgery is not required it is not a process that will break the bank.
“Dental bridgework can sometimes damage the nerves.”
Now, let’s compare with the cons.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implants – The cons of bridges
Nothing is perfect, however. Here are the cons when it comes to bridges:
- Risk of nerve damage –Dental bridgework can sometimes damage the nerves. It doesn’t happen often but it CAN happen so you should be aware of this.
- Tooth filing – Your teeth do need to be filed down a bit in the process so there is some damage to the natural teeth.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implants – The pros of implants
- Standalone – Unlike bridges, dental implants are designed as standalone
- Function like regular teeth – You won’t hear any odd clicking (just in case you were worrying). These teeth function like any other tooth.
- Cosmetically pleasing – Dental implants look like your natural teeth(except cleaner if you have poor dental hygiene).
- Easy maintenance – Just brush these teeth like you would any other and you are good to go.
- Can replace entire rows – Where a bridge may only replace one tooth in a gap, dental implants can replace entire rows.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implants – The cons of implants
Here we come now to the part that everyone hates but needs to know. Here are the cons:
- Cost – Dental implants are considerably more expensive then bridges.
- Time consuming – It will take a number of visits to the dentist in order to get your implant work completed.
- Surgery is involved – Dental implants are either anchored directly to the jawbone or set on or just above it under the gumline, depending on your needs. This means that surgery will be involved in selecting this option. The surgery does have a success rate of more than 90 percent, however, so don’t let the thought of the surgery deter you if you really like the idea of getting implants.
- Insurance – In most cases your insurance is NOT going to cover dental implants. This may be a very important factor for some considering the cost involved.
- Eligibility – Additional treatments may be required if the jawbone density is insufficient to support the implants. In some cases, less expensive mini implants may be utilized, but this is something that you will need to discuss with your dentist.
As you can see, neither option is completely perfect, they both have their pros and their cons and they function very well at their own specific tasks.
If you just want to replace one tooth to fill a gap, the bridge may be all that you need. It’s more cost effective and looks great. If you need to replace more than one tooth, dental implants can provide you with a permanent way to do so at a higher (but arguably worthwhile) cost. Until next time, keep smiling!