Dental Bridge or Dental Implant

SHOULD I GET DENTAL IMPLANTS OR A BRIDGE?

Losing your adult teeth is never a good thing. Having holes in your smile can affect your mouth function, speech and even your self-confidence. People will most commonly find dental bridges and dental implants as potential solutions when turning to their dentist.

Which of these two options is best for you though? There are many factors to consider when choosing one solution over the other and it is crucial for you to understand what each treatment option entails so you can make an informed decision.

WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?

The structure underneath a tooth is a complex system of bone, ligaments and nerves. When a tooth is removed, so are the ligaments and nerves. When this is done, the surrounding area will begin to slowly deteriorate as well, leading to the neighbouring teeth having to be removed as well.

A dental implant will replace this structure with a metal post which is usually made of titanium. Over the course of a few months, new bone should grow around the post and secure it in place. If the post passes the dentist’s test, a crown (the replacement tooth) will be screwed into the post and sealed into place.

Dental Implant diagram

WHAT IS A DENTAL BRIDGE?

A dental bridge is a section of fake teeth which are attached to two healthy teeth that surround a gap in the smile to fill it in.

Usually, the two teeth on each side of the gap are shaved down to accommodate the bridge. A cap is placed over each tooth which is attached to the bridge that replaces the missing teeth.

In areas of the mouth that can handle less force or only one tooth is missing, dentists will use a winged, or Maryland bridge which will be embedded into the neighbouring teeth instead of fully capping them.

Sometimes, there may not be teeth on both sides of the gap. A common solution to this problem is to use what is called a cantilevered bridge. This type of bridge is attached to a single tooth on one side, and the bridge will hang over the gap to be filled.

Dental Bridge 3D diagram

PROS AND CONS OF IMPLANTS AND BRIDGES

Cost is an important factor to consider when choosing the right solution for you. How much you will need to pay out of your own pocket for the procedure will vary depending on your coverage through your work benefits and/or insurance policy if you have them.

Most dental benefits packages through employment will cover these types of procedures up to a specific dollar amount for the year.

Insurance companies consider both dental bridges and implants to be high-end procedures, making it more difficult to make a claim to fully pay for either procedure. Because of the vast difference in cost between either treatment, insurance companies are more likely to pay for a dental bridge than an implant.

When considering either option for your missing tooth or teeth, it is best to check what is covered by your employment benefits first if you have them. If you also have insurance coverage, speak with your provider about the options you are considering and if you have information regarding benefits coverage, provide them that information as well. They will help you make your decision by telling you what claim options your have for either procedure.

WHAT OUR DENTISTS RECOMMEND

We will consider your individual situation before making any recommendations. We will consider the number of teeth you are looking to replace, your age, your overall oral and medical health as well as any financial considerations that are relevant to you. We will provide multiple options for treatment and their costs.

That being said, our team is focused on your total oral health, and not just your smile. That is why we recommend dental implants over bridges whenever possible since they promote the health of the underlying bone and gum structures while bridges don’t.

It may be a more costly and stressful procedure, but the longevity of dental implants compared to bridges means once the procedure is complete, you won’t have to worry about it ever again. With a bridge, you will need to have it periodically replaced, and may have to have other procedures due to the complications bridges can cause. In the end, this could end up costing you more over the course of your lifetime than the implant would have.

PROS AND CONS OF IMPLANTS AND BRIDGES

Check out the following table for the pros and cons for dental implants and bridges.

 

SolutionProsCons
Dental Implants–          Less burden placed on surrounding teeth.

–          Promotes healing of bone structures and gums under the teeth.

–          Reduced long-term risk of jaw damage.

–          Made to last a lifetime.

–          Costly treatment option. A single tooth implant can cost up to thousands of dollars.

–          Requires multiple procedures to complete.

–          Often requires oral surgery.

–          Months-long recovery time.

Dental Bridge–          One of the most cost-effective solutions

–          Quicker process for replacing teeth.

–          Doesn’t require bone grafting if bone loss is present

–          Places greater strain on surrounding teeth and structures.

–          Needs to be replaced over time.

–          Does not address bone structures and gums meaning they will deteriorate over time.

–          Cantilevered bridges place significant strain on a single tooth.

–          Maryland bridges have limited capacity to absorb force due to minimal attachment. They can also lead to the loss of surrounding teeth if not properly maintained.

Periodontist with a dental drill working on a patient's teeth

TRUST YOUR DENTIST

We're experts in tooth replacement.

The dental team at Preston Dental Center always has your best interests in mind. We will always handle your situation with care and present you all of your options for tooth replacement. With our expertise, you can and should trust our recommendations for treatment, as they will always be the best options for your complete oral health.

OUR MODERN FACILITY AND TECHNOLOGY

A modern, centrally located dental office that employs some of the most advanced dental equipment and instrument sterilization techniques makes Preston Dental Centre a unique health care facility. The warm inviting offices, natural light in every room and professional staff will all confirm that PDC is unlike any dental office you have visited before.

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