Table of Contents
Teeth loss happens to many adults in Australia; luckily, several options exist to fix these missing teeth. Dental implants and dental bridges are two of the most popular.
Many things come to mind when considering dental implants and bridges since they seem to serve the same purpose. Still, many differences between them lie primarily in the technique used by your dentist for the treatments.
Continue reading for the pros and cons of dental bridges and implants before you visit the dentist with a particular option in mind.
- A dental implant is a more long-term fix to missing teeth than bridges.
- A bridge procedure will cost less than an implant at the outset.
- The dental implant procedure takes much longer to complete than the dental bridge.
- Your dentists will conduct tests and examinations to find which option is better for you.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a permanent solution for missing teeth. It involves a metal, screw-like anchor that is surgically embedded into the jawbone. Once the implant has fused with the bone, a process known as osseointegration, an abutment and crown are fitted to the implant, resulting in a replacement tooth that looks and feels just like a natural tooth.
Dental Implant Advantages
- Dental implants preserve bone loss as they stimulate your jawbone when your chew.
- It restores the functional and aesthetic aspects of your teeth.
- The implants allow you to eat and speak as your natural teeth would.
- The success rate of dental implants is a whopping 98%.
- Dental implants are the closest thing to your natural teeth.
- The implants can last for all your life as long as you properly maintain them.
- Dental implants require continuing your regular oral hygiene to keep them clean.
Dental Implant Disadvantages
- Your body may reject the implant, and this will cause the osseointegration to fail.
- Dental implants are susceptible to infections around the gum.
- The dental prosthesis may fracture or break if too much pressure is placed too early.
- It takes a relatively long time for dental implant treatment to be completed.
What Is A Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a type of dental prosthesis used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is held in place by dental crowns that are cemented onto the natural teeth adjacent to the gap. This creates a ‘bridge’ across the area where teeth are absent, restoring both function and aesthetics to the mouth.
Dental Bridge Advantages
- Dental bridges mimic the appearance of your natural teeth effectively.
- They restore the chewing ability that you may have lost alongside your teeth.
- Dental bridges give you a confident-looking smile once more.
- Your dental bridge treatment is more likely to be covered by insurance.
Dental Bridge Disadvantages
- Since there is nothing to stimulate your jawbone, a dental bridge will cause profound bone loss.
- The nature of the bridge prevents you from flossing between the crown and the pontic.
- One of the pillar teeth may experience decay which may not be easily detected and cause the dental bridge to fail.
- If the bridge should fail, your dentist will have to compromise another set of healthy teeth to repair it.
- The dental bridge has to be replaced every 10-15 years as it only lasts that long.
Dental Implant vs Bridge: Surgery
As far as the surgical aspect goes, dental bridges do not require surgery to be fitted and are typically less invasive than dental implants. It involves the preparation of the pillar teeth and cementing the crown or wing onto them.
A dental implant is relatively invasive as an incision is made across the ridge of your gum line, and a hole is drilled into your jawbone. This hole is what your dentist will insert the dental implant into before fitting the dental prosthesis.
Tooth Implant vs Bridge: Maintenance
The maintenance of both the dental bridge and a tooth implant is quite similar since they both require just slight changes to your dental care routine. You will need to continue brushing with a soft toothbrush twice daily but with non-abrasive toothpaste.
For flossing, you will need special super floss to get all the areas around your dental implant and bridge. This floss usually comprises a stiff part, a spongy part and a regular floss part.
Tooth Implant vs Bridge: Treatment Length
A dental bridge will usually require just two appointments to get the bridge prepped and fitted, while a dental implant can take up to a year and several appointments to be completed.
Sometimes, your dentist may have to perform a bone graft to up your jawbone density. This procedure will add to the treatment length as the bone graft will need a few months to heal.
Dental Implant vs Bridge: Cost
Dental implants are generally more expensive, ranging from $3,999 to $6,000 per tooth, due to the surgical procedure and materials involved. Dental bridges, on the other hand, are less expensive, typically costing between $500 and $1,500 per tooth. However, considering the longevity and fewer replacement needs of dental implants, they may prove more cost-effective in the long run. Always consult with your dental professional for a precise estimate.
Tooth Implant vs Bridge: Insurance Coverage
Many insurance companies in Australia consider dental implant treatment cosmetic and may not cover it. This is slightly misplaced as dental implants restore aesthetics and teeth function. And on that note, some dental plans may cover a part of the treatment cost.
While dental bridges may be covered under major dental coverage in Australia, you should ask your dental insurance provider whether they offer partial or complete coverage for dental bridge treatment.
Dental Implant vs Bridge: Health Benefits
A dental implant stimulates the jawbone and prevents bone loss, while a dental bridge offers no such and contributes to bone loss over time. On the other hand, a dental bridge may cause damage to healthy crowns to allow its installation.
In the long run, a dental implant may have more significant benefits than bridges. However, this is subjective, and you can ask your dentist for the better option for your treatment.
Dental Bridge Vs Implant – Which Is Better
The choice between a dental bridge and an implant depends on individual circumstances. Dental implants are often preferred for their durability and ability to prevent bone loss, making them a long-term solution. However, they require good overall health and a longer treatment time. Dental bridges, while quicker to install and less invasive, may need replacement over time. They are a good option for those seeking a faster solution or those with multiple consecutive missing teeth. Always consult with your dentist to determine the best option for your specific needs.
What Last Longer, Bridge Or Implant?
Under proper care and maintenance, an implant will last longer than a dental bridge.
Is A Bridge Cheaper Than An Implant?
At the outset, a bridge will cost less than a dental implant. However, an implant may be the more cost-effective option due to the maintenance needed over time.
Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
A dental implant may not be the best choice if you do not have a healthy jawbone and cannot undergo a bone grafting procedure.
How Many Years Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants will remain in good working condition for the rest of your life, provided they are properly maintained.
Why Is A Dental Bridge Not Recommended?
A dental bridge contributes to bone loss and puts adjacent healthy teeth at risk of infection or gum disease.
What Is The Next Best Thing To Dental Implants?
Depending on your situation, the next best thing to dental implants aside from your teeth will be a dental bridge or a denture.
What Is The Alternative To A Dental Bridge?
Dental implants and dentures are effectively and relatively long-lasting solutions to missing or damaged teeth.
How Many Teeth Can Be On A Bridge?
As many as 16 teeth can be on a full arch bridge or as small as three for a single tooth replacement–with one pontic and two crowns.
How Painful Are Dental Implants?
You won’t feel pain during your dental implant procedure as your dentist will numb the pain with an anesthetic.
Are Dental Implants Worth It?
This depends on your current oral health, as dental implants are a tooth replacement choice worth opting for in most cases.
Both tooth implants and dental bridges can fix lost teeth. However, one will always be more beneficial for you than the other. And the best way to find this out is to call Coolamon Dental Care if you’re in Perth or Brisbane and speak with one of our qualified dentists.