Tooth loss can bring a lot of bad and unwanted consequences. Fortunately, there are many tooth replacement options that you can go for. Among the many alternatives, bridge vs. implant might confuse you. Which one should you choose, and how are they different? We’ll mention the key differences between the two in this blog.
Dental Bridge Vs. Implant: How Are They Different?
First, let us go over what a dental implant and dental bridge actually are. Dental bridges are false teeth that are supported by the surrounding teeth, usually composed of porcelain or plastic. In addition, you can get them for one or multiple missing teeth.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are artificial tooth roots. Made from titanium, they’re placed into the jawbone using screws. Then, a dental crown or bridge is mounted over them.
Both tooth replacement options can match the color and appearance of your natural teeth. Dental implants are titanium screws that are mounted on your jawbone, so they won’t be visible themselves. But you can get a natural-looking fake tooth placed on top of it. Simply put, when it comes to bridge vs. implant, both options are discreet.
Placing a dental bridge might require shaving down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth to make room for it and the crowns supporting it. On the other hand, dental implants are screwed inside the jaw while a fake tooth sits above it. Therefore, implant-supported bridges are recommended instead since they don’t alter the surrounding healthy teeth.
When it comes to the durability of a dental bridge vs. implants, the latter is the clear winner. Dental implants take the lead with a life expectancy of 15 years or more. The bridge needs to be replaced every 5 to years, but it can last around 10 years or more.
Dental implants cost more than a bridge and sometimes aren’t covered by insurance. That being said, they do tend to last longer than dental bridges.
A dental bridge might only require a couple of visits to the dentist, with no surgical intervention. However, installing dental implants is a surgical procedure that can take around 2 to 6 months to heal. The dental crown will be added only after your jaw has healed.
With dental implants, you also have the advantage of easy maintenance. They are much easier to clean. Plus, you can floss between implants as well. Hence, the maintenance of implants is easier and simpler than a bridge.
7. Bone Preservation
Our tooth bone needs constant stimulation to grow, something which is lost after tooth loss. Thus, missing teeth can cause dental bone loss. Dental implants can prevent this, as they are made of titanium, which our body doesn’t recognize as a foreign substance. In short, implants aid in maintaining our bone structure and keep our jaw shape fuller. Unfortunately, this is not something that dental bridge offers.
Now that you know the key differences between a dental bridge vs. implant, you can make an informed decision when getting a tooth replacement. However, always ask for your dentist’s suggestion, as they can inspect your mouth’s condition to deduce what the suitable option is. Our Gessner Smile Dentistry team is always here for recommendations and consultations. Dial (713) 858-8513 to schedule an appointment with us.