When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants and dental bridges are two common and effective options. Both offer solutions for restoring function and aesthetics, but they differ in terms of procedure, longevity, and maintenance. So which is the best option for you, dental implant or bridge?

dental implant or bridge

This post from Sydney Dental will explore dental implants and dental bridges, including their definitions, application processes, benefits, potential drawbacks, and considerations to help you make an informed decision about the best tooth replacement option for your needs.

Dental implant

1. What are dental implants? 

Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots made of titanium that are surgically placed into the jawbone. They serve as a foundation for dental restorations, such as crowns or bridges. The dental implant procedure typically involves the following steps:

1.1. Initial consultation

A thorough examination, including dental imaging and a review of the patient’s medical history, is conducted to determine if the patient is a suitable candidate for dental implants.

1.2. Dental implant insertion

During a minor surgical procedure, the dental implant is placed into the jawbone. The implant is then left to heal and integrate with the bone over a period of several months, a process known as osseointegration.

1.3. Abutment addition

Once the implant has fully fused with the jawbone, an abutment is attached to the implant. The abutment serves as a connector between the implant and the dental restoration.

1.4. Restoration placement

Finally, a custom-made dental crown or bridge is securely attached to the abutment, completing the implant restoration.

2. What are the pros of dental implants?

Dental implants bring patients with missing or severely decayed teeth due multiple benefits. They are:

  • Durability: Dental implants are designed to mimic the strength and stability of natural teeth. With proper care and oral hygiene, implants can last a lifetime;
  • Improved Functionality: Dental implants restore the ability to bite, chew, and speak with ease, providing a level of comfort and functionality similar to natural teeth;
  • Preserves Jawbone Health: Implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and preserving facial structure;
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Dental implants are designed to match the color, shape, and size of surrounding teeth, resulting in a natural-looking smile;
  • Independent Restoration: Dental implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support, unlike dental bridges. This helps to preserve the integrity of healthy teeth.
dental implant or bridge
dental implant or bridge

3. What are the cons of dental implants?

Apart from its many advantages, there are certain things that patients should take into account when considering this tooth restoration option:

Surgical procedure: Dental implant placement involves a surgical procedure, which may require a longer healing period compared to other tooth replacement options.

Cost: Dental implants tend to be more expensive than dental bridges, primarily due to the surgical component and the use of high-quality materials.

Time commitment: The dental implant process, including healing and integration, can take several months from start to finish.

4. What are dental bridges?

Dental bridges, as the name suggests, bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They consist of dental crowns on either side of the gap, with an artificial tooth (pontic) in between. The dental bridge procedure typically involves the following steps:

4.1. Tooth preparation

The adjacent teeth on either side of the gap are prepared by removing a portion of their enamel to accommodate the dental crowns.

4.2. Impression

An impression of the prepared teeth is taken, which serves as the mold for creating the dental bridge and pontic.

4.3. Temporary bridge (optional)

A temporary bridge may be placed to protect the prepared teeth while the permanent bridge is being fabricated in a dental laboratory.

4.4. Bridge placement

Once the permanent bridge is ready, it is checked for fit, aesthetics, and proper bite alignment. The dental bridge is then bonded or cemented into place, restoring the function and appearance of the missing teeth.

5. What are the pros of dental bridges?

Non-surgical procedure

Unlike dental implants, dental bridges do not require surgical placement. The process is minimally invasive and can often be completed in a few dental visits.

Restored functionality

Dental bridges allow for improved chewing and speaking abilities, helping to maintain proper oral function.

Aesthetic enhancement

Bridges are customized to match the natural color and shape of existing teeth, providing a seamless and attractive smile.

Cost-effective

Dental bridges are generally more affordable than dental implants, making them a viable option for individuals with budget constraints.

6. What are the drawbacks of dental bridges?

Impact on adjacent teeth

Dental bridges rely on the support of adjacent healthy teeth, which need to be prepared and fitted with dental crowns. This alteration to healthy teeth may pose a concern for some individuals.

Potential for bone loss

Without the presence of a tooth root, the underlying jawbone in the area of the missing tooth may gradually deteriorate over time.

dental implant or bridge
dental implant or bridge

Lifespan

Dental bridges typically have a lifespan of 5 to 15 years, after which they may require replacement or repair.

Maintenance

Special attention to oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings, is necessary to maintain the health and longevity of dental bridges.

7. How to choose the best treatment?

When deciding between dental implants and dental bridges, several factors need to be considered, including the patient’s oral health, budget, personal preferences, and long-term goals. Consulting with a qualified dentist is crucial to determine the most suitable option. In general, dental implants are ideal for individuals who desire a permanent and independent tooth replacement option, have good oral health, and are willing to undergo a surgical procedure. On the other hand, dental bridges may be a suitable choice for those with missing teeth and healthy adjacent teeth, seeking a more affordable and non-surgical solution.

8. A note from Sydney Dental

Both dental implants and dental bridges offer effective solutions for replacing missing teeth and restoring oral function and aesthetics. Dental implants provide a long-lasting and independent replacement option, while dental bridges offer a non-surgical and cost-effective alternative. By understanding the procedures, benefits, considerations, and maintenance requirements associated with each option, individuals can make an informed decision in collaboration with their dentist.

Hopefully this read on how dental implants and dental bridges compare is informative and helpful to you learning about this tooth restoration option. If you are still unsure of anything in search of a new unforgettably stunning smile, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC, Vietnam looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at 0937826414 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *