Which is better – Dental Implant or Dental Bridge?

“Do I need a dental bridge or a dental implant?” 

That is a typical concern that many patients have when it is time to get a tooth replacement.  

Extracted or missing teeth can cause problems, but a proper replacement is essential for a healthy, attractive smile. When you sit in that chair at your dentist’s office, you might want to ask them, what is the difference between a bridge and an implant?

Let’s get right into it and go through their types, appearance, expense, efficiency, advantages and drawbacks, and recovery.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Previously, the only choice for filling a gap between teeth or replacing lost teeth was to use a bridge. A dental bridge, as the name suggests, physically “bridges” the gap among teeth caused by a lost tooth. As a result, the prosthesis must be attached to one or more surrounding teeth, which your dentist in Chandler, AZ, will have to sand down so they can act as support.

Bridges, unlike implants, do not substitute your tooth root. Instead, dentists will utilize one or more of your neighboring teeth as support to install a crown that will cover the space left by the lost tooth. These crowns are available in gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.

How does a Teeth Gap Develop?

The major causes of a missing tooth are tooth decay, gum diseases, congenital condition, or injury. You can get a dental bridge as long as you have healthy teeth on either side of the gap. If not, we can also fix it via dental implants.

Why should I fill that Gap?

It is necessary to fill the gap for the following reasons:

1. Teeth are designed to work together; a gap will cause problems and reduce their efficiency.

2. Other teeth might move into the gap, causing pain.

3. You may not be able to chew and bite properly.

What is the Procedure to get a dental bridge?

On your first visit to get a dental bridge, the dentist prepares the abutment teeth. Your dentist will remove a part of enamel from the teeth to make space for the crown to fit properly. Then the impressions of these teeth are recorded to provide a model to the dental lab that will make the bridge, pontic, and crowns. Meanwhile, to protect the exposed teeth and gums, you will get a temporary bridge.

On your second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary bridge, and the new porcelain or metal bridge is tried and tested for fit, bite, and comfort. It may require multiple visits to the dentist to check if the metal framework is fitting perfectly. With a fixed bridge, your dentist may cement it temporarily to check the fit, after which they will cement it permanently in two weeks.

How long does it last?

With proper maintenance and oral hygiene, the installation of a dental bridge in Chandler, AZ may easily last up to 10, even 15 years.

Are Dental Bridges Durable?

Underneath the bridge lies a portion of your tooth root, and regular wear and tear might lead your bridges to break over time. The natural tooth structures will remain susceptible to periodontitis and decay.

Dental implants are a robust option for replacing lost teeth. They are a viable choice for many individuals, and dental experts frequently prefer them over dentures or bridges.

What Are Dental Implants?

Implants may be the perfect option if you have periodontitis, trauma, or some other reason for a missing tooth or teeth. A dental implant is a titanium screw-like device that works like a tooth root to anchor a crown.

Your dentist may surgically insert the implant and then fix it into your jawbone, securing it in place. After the implant integration process is complete, the dentist connects an abutment to the implant or artificial tooth root. This further extends above your gum line and provides a platform for the dental crown to be screwed or cemented.

How do Dental Implants operate effectively?

The implant procedure will involve oral surgery. We typically perform it while you are numb.

After giving you a local anesthetic, your dentist makes a tiny space in your jawbone and gently inserts the implant into place. They will then cover the freshly installed dental implant with gums to allow it to recover. Once the implant core heals perfectly, you will need a second procedure to insert a connection into the tip of your implant. The dentist will then place a crown on top of this connection using a tiny screw and a specialized dental sealant.

The Aesthetic Appearance

Dental implants are the most appealing option because the dentist can make them look like actual enamel. In certain circumstances, your dentist might place the implant right after extracting your tooth. It preserves the natural level of bone and improving the aesthetic of your dental treatment.

Both implants and dental bridges can provide natural-looking outcomes, but they have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here is how these two tooth replacement alternatives stack up.

Advantages of Dental Bridges

  • It is more likely to be reimbursed by insurance; 
  • May not involve a bone graft or surgical intervention;
  • Have a lower initial cost than dental implants; 
  • And typically requires just two appointments to your dentist stretched out over a few weeks.

Disadvantages of a Dental Bridge 

  • It must be re-installed every 5 to 7 years.
  • It loses its natural look as it wears
  • It causes more infections and decay in adjacent teeth than implants
  • May harm the good teeth around the missing tooth.
  • You cannot floss the bridge like your natural teeth. Floss must be carefully inserted underneath the bridge and pulled through the other side. Without flossing, the chance of developing a cavity under a bridge is very high

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • It can last for more than 15 years with proper maintenance. 
  • Keep natural-looking aesthetic longer than bridges 
  • Do not harm healthy teeth surrounding it 
  • Have an impressive 10-year success rate of about 97 percent

Disadvantages of Dental Implants 

  • Unlikely to be compensated by insurance 
  • Installation time is a lot more than bridges.
  • Greater initial cost
  • It involves surgical intervention.

Bridges and implants are two alternatives for tooth replacement. Bridges are often reimbursed by insurance and have a lower initial cost.

If money isn’t a problem and you are in good health, dental implants may be the superior alternative since they stay longer and don’t harm the teeth around them.