What is better, a dental implant or a dental bridge?


Many people have asked the question; which is better, a dental implant or a dental bridge? However, the answer will depend on a number of different factors which include but are not limited to;

  • The location of the missing tooth
  • The patient’s general health
  • Whether or not they smoke
  • The patient’s oral health
  • The condition of the teeth on each side of the gap
  • The patient’s occlusion (the contact between teeth)
  • The patient’s cosmetic expectations
  • The available time to complete treatment
  • Financial considerations

A dental bridge, and dental implant are two common tooth replacement options. Which option is best depends on a number of factors.

Note; there are different circumstances in which a bridge is definitely the correct choice and other circumstances in which an implant is the better option. This is why it’s important to examine, analyse, and discuss the all treatment options and the circumstances unique to each patient.

What is the Difference between a Dental Implant and a Bridge?

A dental implant involves using a small cylinder that is made of titanium, which is then placed in the patient’s jawbone. This is done at the site where the tooth is missing. The titanium cylinder will then bond with the patient’s bone tissue and creates an artificial root. At the top of that root, the artificial tooth will then be placed.

A dental bridge involves installing a pair of crowns onto the patient’s natural teeth (on either side of the gap). A “bridge” is then created with the use of these crowns and it will hold the artificial teeth. While the actual gap is covered, the artificial teeth are not fixed to the patient’s jaw, only to the adjacent teeth.


The pros and cons of dental implants

One of the benefits of choosing dental implants is that they offer the most similar replacement option when compared to a natural tooth. They do not attach to adjacent teeth, and can be used to replace teeth even when no neighbouring teeth are present.

The cons of dental implants relate to the fact that it is a more complex process with different stages requiring multiple appointments. It is also necessary to have enough bone present in order to accomodate the implant.

For more information on dental implants, click here.


The pros and cons of a dental bridge

A dental bridge is usually a faster treatment option compared with an implant. The entire procedure can usually be completed in just two dental visits.

The main disadvantage of a dental bridge is that it must be attached to the adjacent teeth. This means that the neighbouring teeth must be in good condition. However, if an adjacent tooth has never needed a filling, it can be considered fairly invasive to place a crown on an unrestored tooth. However, if crowns are required on the adjacent teeth anyway, or if there is going to be a cosmetic or functional benefit — then a dental bridge can be a very cost effective and beneficial treatment option.

If you would like some more information, the best thing to do is to review your unique circumstances. This way, we can advise you which is best; a dental implant or a dental bridge in your particular situation.

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss whether a bridge or an implant is the right choice for you book a consultation with Dr Kate Amos or Dr Sam Rosehill at Ethical Dental on 6652 3185 or book online. To learn more about dental implants check out our articles Can you have a dental implant if the tooth was removed years ago? and Will Dental Implants Rust?

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