Dental implants are probably the most popular way to deal with missing teeth. However, they can be hugely expensive, costing anywhere from $5,000-$15,000. And in some cases, a dental bridge may even be preferable. In this post, we will explore all the reasons you might want to choose a dental bridge over a dental implant and why you might not.
Shared benefits of dental bridges and implants
When you have a missing tooth, it is vital you seek support from a dentist as soon as possible. As tempting as it can be to let a situation trundle along, this can lead to bigger problems down the road. Indeed, ignoring a missing tooth can lead to bone loss and even change the shape of your face in the long run. Here, we outline some of the shared benefits of dental implants and dental bridges:
- An improved ability to chew
- Returned ability to speak clearly
- A cleaner or straighter bite
- Improved overall oral hygiene
- Prevents tooth movement
What are the benefits of dental bridges over an implant?
Whilst dental implants do last longer, this does come at an additional cost. Compared to implants, you can expect a dental bridge to cost somewhere between $1,500-$5,000. That alone is quite a big incentive! However, there are some reasons other than the economic costs that you might want to choose a dental bridge over an implant. Here we outline 3 of the main reasons other than cost that people choose bridges over implants:
- Less surgery time
Having a dental implant installed can be complex. With complexity comes time. And with time comes cost. Moreover, with any dental implant, it is likely that you will have to sit in the dentist’s chair for surgery at least twice. Once to have the implant surgically fitted to your jaw and once to have your false tooth, or pontic, added. You also need to give the jaw time to heal in between surgeries.
By way of comparison, a bridge might still involve two trips to the dentist, but the first will simply involve taking a mold of your teeth. The second will be cementing the bridge into place. As such, whereas an implant might take 2-15 months, a bridge is likely to be much faster and can be done within 2 days in some instances. With 10-15 years of life in a bridge, this quick fix still offers longevity of use too.
- Improved aesthetics
Both implants and bridges can be aesthetically pleasing and both will give you your smile back. However, in some instances, a bridge may suit your mouth better than an implant when it comes to appearance. This is especially true if you have a particularly high smile line as this can make it challenging to make an implant look natural. If an implant has been attempted and failed, a bridge may also be a more suitable option.
- Health reasons
As mentioned, an implant requires surgery. For some people, be it due to cancer, diabetes, or other ill-health, surgery may not be the most suitable course of action. Indeed, an implant can require people to undergo an intense bone grafting procedure. If your body is already under intense strain, then optional surgery for a dental implant could be the wrong choice for your body’s needs. In this instance, the more simple procedure of a bridge could be the way to go.
Both dental implants and bridges are effective and vital treatments if you have a gap, a missing tooth, or need a tooth taken out. As such, if you need treatment, it is vital you contact a dentist at the earliest possible time. This is important both for your oral hygiene and your health more generally. Whilst implants will last longer and offer their own distinctive health benefits, dental bridges can be preferable due to the reduced surgery required, reduced cost, and improved aesthetics they can offer.