Dental Implant vs. Dental Bridge
When faced with a single missing tooth or a small, contained area of missing teeth, often due to accident or injury, there are options to consider when seeking replacement. First of all, replacing missing teeth is important, and not just for aesthetic reasons. While a gap in one’s smile is bothersome, the underlying processes associated with missing teeth are much more problematic. Not only do you become more prone to infection, you can actually start to lose bone mass in the jaw. Gum tissues start to recede, as well, which can compromise your oral health in other ways. For these reasons, it is best to replace teeth if and when you lose them. Luckily, there are two great options for doing so, which this article will outline.
Dental implants at Burch Dental in Rockford Illinois are surgically installed prosthetic teeth that replace the entirety of the missing tooth from roots to crown. Because they are anchored in the jawbone as one’s natural teeth are, they are as strong and functional as organic teeth. And they look the same, too!
Dental implants can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all of one’s teeth. Typically made of titanium, a material that was chosen for its high degree of strength as well as the virtually unrivaled level of biocompatibility that it enjoys, dental implants are strong, functional, and built to last a lifetime.
Dental bridges are a form of tooth replacement that does not require surgical intervention. Rather than embedding part of the prosthetic below the gums into the jaw, dental bridges use the neighboring teeth for support. As such, the teeth on either side need to be altered somewhat in order for the dental bridge to be adhered to them. Once complete, the prosthetic crowns float on top of the gums, cemented on to the teeth on either side.
Key Considerations in Choosing Between Implants and Bridges
Dental implants and dental bridges are both dependable options that differ fairly considerably in terms of price point, timeline of placement, and durability. All of these are elements that will likely factor into choosing between the two.
The time required for the placement of dental implants can be extensive. From start to finish, it usually takes three to six months to finish a dental implant, which can seem like a very long time when you’re missing a tooth. Dental bridges can be created in a matter of mere weeks, but if the tooth in question was recently extracted, a few months wait may be required before the dental bridge can be placed. In this case, the timeline of the two alternatives is likely quite similar.
On the one hand, dental implants are the more expensive of the two forms of tooth replacement, costing an average of $3000 per tooth replaced. Dental bridges can be a more cost-effective option, costing on average $500-1500 for a single tooth replacement.
However, dental implants are more durable, lasting up to twenty-five years as compared to the ten years that dental bridges usually last. Given that a dental bridge will likely need to be repaired or replaced halfway through the lifespan of a dental implant, the implant might be the more cost-effective choice over time.