Dental Implant Vs. Bridge: Which Is Better?
Find the best way to replace your missing tooth. When you’re missing a tooth, you have two options for replacement – install a dental implant or a dental bridge. Unfortunately, many patients don’t have the information they need to make the best choice for their oral health and smile. If you or someone you know is debating a dental implant vs. a dental bridge, consult this quick guide before you see your doctor.
Getting A Dental Implant or Bridge Can Depend on Upon Your Oral Health
What is the Difference Between a Dental Implant and Bridge?
With a dental implant, a small titanium cylinder is placed in the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. That cylinder bonds with the bone tissue to create an artificial root on top of which an abutment and later an artificial tooth are placed.
With a dental bridge, a pair or crowns are installed onto your natural teeth on either side of the gap. Those crowns are then used to create a bridge that holds an artificial tooth. The gap is covered, but the artificial tooth is not actually fixed to the jaw.
Dental Implant: Pros and Cons
The biggest benefit of choosing a dental implant is that it supports jaw health. The bone remains strong and healthy which positively impacts both your oral health and the shape of your face as you age. Dental implants often look better and naturally mimic the feel and function of a real tooth. They also typically last longer with an average lifespan of about 25 years.
The major drawback of installing a dental implant is that it requires a fairly serious, multi-stage surgery. That can create complications and produce anxiety in the patient. It also necessitates a longer healing time that can lead to further complications.
Dental Bridge: Pros and Cons
Many people opt for a dental bridge over a dental implant because the procedure to install one is relatively quick, easy, and safe. In most cases, it can be completed in two visits, compared to three or more for a dental implant. A dental bridge is also the more economical of the two options.
The disadvantage of this option is that it can lead to the reposition of bone tissue below the crown which creates instability and a shorter lifespan as a consequence. Most crowns will need to be replaced after 7 to 10 years. This process can also weaken the adjacent teeth and make them more vulnerable to decay.