Dental bridges are used to bridge the gap between one or more missing teeth. The bridge is supported by the natural teeth or implants on either side. It is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on each part of the gap. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, and the false teeth that lie in between are called pontics.
This is a good option if you have lost a tooth or teeth to an injury, periodontal disease, or other reasons. A dental implant is a titanium post (acting as a tooth root) that supports a crown. It is surgically inserted into the jawbone where it will then fuse (or osseo-integrate) into the jawbone to ensure that it is anchored in position. After the osseointegration process is finished (usually 3-6 months), an abutment is attached to the post frame. It protrudes above the gum line to provide the area where the dental crown is cemented or screwed into.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges
- Simple procedure
Unlike dental implants, bridges don’t require surgery, making bridges a lot less painful. All it takes is a simple dental procedure to get your teeth fixed.
It’s much quicker and easier to get dental bridges (only a few weeks at the most), whereas implants may take several months.
Bridges are generally more affordable than implants, and they are still strong and supportive for your mouth.
- Less Aesthetically Pleasing
Bridges are not as natural looking as implants, and therefore are not as aesthetically pleasing.
- Periodic Replacement
Bridges need to be replaced periodically. They should be changed every 5-7 years.
- Damage Natural Teeth
Adjacent teeth undergo a lot of preparation that requires the removal of a considerable amount of tooth structure.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
- Little maintenance
One big perk about dental implants is that they can last a lifetime when they are high quality. They require little maintenance.
- Natural looking
Dental implants look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. They are strong and stable, and they keep your smile confident.
- Protect Your Jawbone
Having an open space in your mouth where a missing tooth once was puts your jawbone at a risk for deterioration. Dental implants stimulate and preserve natural bone growth, which helps prevent bone loss.
- No Strain on Teeth
Unlike a bridge, an implant stands on it’s own support without putting strain on other teeth. This helps to protect surrounding teeth.
Because the implant must be attached to your bone, it requires surgery. And there are always risks to consider with any kind of surgical procedure. Some of the risks include infection, nerve damage, damage to surrounding teeth, jaw fractures, and more.
Getting a tooth implant is not something that can be done in a single office visit. Bone heals slowly, to the entire procedure can take several months, around 3 months on the fast end.
Now, the cost will vary depending on the type of implant and the conditions of the tooth issue. Still, the high cost associated with getting a dental implant is often what deters people from considering this procedure.