Do you have a missing tooth, and you wonder whether to get a bridge or a dental implant? Having an empty gap may result in infection, but you can always get a tooth replacement after extraction. Replacing a missing tooth enhances your smile and your overall health. So, what is the difference between a dental implant and a bridge?
What are Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge refers to an artificial tooth held by the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. A dental bridge was once the only solution for missing teeth, but it is still used today along with other modern techniques. Unlike dental implants, bridges do not replace the roots of your teeth. In this teeth replacement method, the crown used to fill the gap is supported by the neighboring teeth.
How Dental Bridges Function
When you go to your dentist to get a dental bridge, they will prepare your surrounding teeth. The dentist will re-contour the adjacent teeth by removing the enamel to create space for the crown. They then take your teeth’ impressions to help the dental lab technician create pontic, crowns, and bridges. The dentist will fit in a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums before your bridge gets ready for fitting.
During the second visit, they will remove the temporary bridge and insert the new porcelain or metal bridge. You will also need to visit the dentist several times so they can check whether the bite and framework fit perfectly. Before cementing the bridge, the dentist will first monitor how it fits for at least two weeks.
Appearance of Dental Bridges
If you want an unnoticeable and attractive dental bridge, consider those made from ceramic. Based on your condition, the doctor may opt for a porcelain bridge instead of a dental implant. A porcelain bridge enables the dentist to remove small gaps between your teeth, which are not appealing to the eyes if you have implants.
How Long Do Bridges Last?
Bridges may last for an average of 10 years. The design used to make the bridge (attaching around three crowns to fill the gap) may pose a threat. This is because brushing and flossing become difficult; hence, you will need to apply extra dental hygiene measures.
How to Care for Dental Bridges
Here are some tips that can prolong the lifespan of your dental bridges.
• Floss at least once a day
• Brush your teeth using silica made toothpaste
• Visit the dentist regularly for professional teeth cleaning
• Consume more fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in fiber.
If you are not sure how to care for your bridge, consult with the dentist and always go for check-ups.
Are Bridges Permanent?
Because a part of the natural tooth is under the bridge, your bridge can fail after some time due to wearing out. Note that the remaining structure of the tooth is still susceptible to decay and gum disease.
How Much Are the Dental Bridges?
The price of dental bridges is dependent on the type. Numerous factors affect the cost of bridges, and they include the following.
• Geographic area
• The complexity of the bridge placement
• Additional treatments for other oral conditions such as gum disease
• The material used to construct the bridge includes composite resin, zirconia, or metal alloy covered with resin.
• The number of teeth needed to fill the gap
What are Dental Implants
Dental implants refer to artificial teeth roots made using titanium. The dentist mounts them into the jawbone using screws to support a bridge or a crown permanently. They are a perfect solution if you have an injury, periodontal disease, or a missing tooth caused by other reasons.
How Do Implants Work?
The dentist will inject you using local or general anesthesia before starting the procedure, which is invasive. They will then drill a hole in the jawbone and cautiously screw the base into the bone. The dentist will then put the gum over the implant and give it some time to recover.
After a successful recovery, they will perform the second surgery to fit the connector to the implant’s top. The dentist will place the crown on the connector using a unique dental cement and a small screw.
If you had a bridge and then it wears out, and you want to try an implant, you are lucky because it is possible. Implants will improve your teeth’ aesthetics compared to when you had a bridge.
Appearance of the Dental Implants
Dental implants look so similar to natural teeth; hence, the results are more appealing. In other cases, the dentist may place a dental implant immediately after tooth extraction. This preserves your natural jaw bone and enhances your smile and appearance.
How Long Do Implants Last?
Compared to a dental bridge, an implant lasts longer. Dental implants can serve you for a lifetime. The titanium metal used is resistant to decay and gum issues, and it’s durable.
How to Care for Dental Implants
It is easy to maintain dental implants than bridges. Prevent dental implant failure by cleaning your teeth thoroughly. Here are ways to clean them when at home.
• Use a soft toothbrush and brush twice every day
• Use a toothpaste that is low abrasive
• Brush around the implant crown and below it
• Use a dental irrigator
• Floss at least once a day using unwaxed tape or implant specific floss
Prices of Dental Implants
Dental implants may go for around $3000-$4500 for a single tooth replacement. Factors like geographic area may also affect the cost.
Pros and Cons: Bridges vs. Implants
Pros of Dental Bridge
• It doesn’t require surgery
• Less costly
• The density of the jawbone, not an issue
• Less invasive
Cons of Dental Bridge
• Jaw deterioration
• Short lifespan
• Affects surrounding teeth
Pros of Dental Implant
• Little maintenance required
• More appealing
• Prevents bone loss
• Protects neighboring teeth
Cons of Dental implant
• Procedure takes long
• Requires surgery
Comparison between Dental Bridge and Implant
Dental implants cost more than bridges, especially if you need more than one tooth. Insurance covers bridges but not implants.
Time Taken for the Procedure to Be Complete
Dental implants take longer than bridges because they involve constructing structural and functional connections between your bone and the implant’s artificial surface.
After insertion of the implant, the following day, you can get back to your normal activities. In case of any discomfort, take an OTC pain reliever.
Bridges also have a short recovery period. You might experience mild pain in your gums, which disappears after a few days. For you to get used to eating while having the bridges, you will need some time. Consider consumption of soft foods until you are used to the bridge.
Between Bridge and Implant Which One is Better?
Bridges are less durable compared to implants. Implants may last a lifetime, while bridges may last for about 10 years. Implants also help your jawbone to remain strong and healthy. Another reason why implants are better is the fact that they look like natural teeth.
Finally, if you have any queries regarding bridges and dental implants, do not hesitate to contact us. Please schedule a consultation with our dentist today at West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dentistry, and get quality dental services.