Which Is Better Bridge Or Implant For The Tooth? And Why?

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If a tooth is missing, there is a clear need to have it replaced. The option of doing nothing should never be considered, so you will have to evaluate, together with your dentist, which is the most appropriate option.

In this sense, the unitary dental absence generally has two options homologous in their function but of very different nature and procedure: the dental implant and the dental bridge.

The dental implant option is usually the most proposed in most cases, but despite this, you cannot deny that it has a certain disadvantage compared to the bridge, a solution that also has disadvantages about the implant.

Therefore, either option has advantages and disadvantages, so it is necessary to evaluate each case independently with your dentist.

What is a dental bridge?

Dental Bridge

As its name suggests, a dental bridge is a structure that connects two teeth to simulate a lost central tooth.

Simply put, the bridge is a crown of three or more pieces that are normally supported at the ends, a place where the teeth are still preserved. In this way, the dental bridge succeeds in replacing the lost tooth without the need for an implant, allowing both aesthetics and functionality to be regained.

However, to place the dental bridge on two teeth, it is necessary to first reduce its size to obtain the final bridge which has the appearance of three natural teeth. This process is called sculpting and involves preparing the teeth to later accommodate the dental bridge.

There may be bridges that span more than one room, and there may be bridges that, supported by three, four, or more teeth, rehabilitate an entire arch.

what are dental implants?

Dental Implants

Dental implants are small titanium or ceramic screws that are inserted into the jaw or mandibular bone to replace the lost tooth root and then load it with a dental crown. Therefore, the dental implant is the prosthetic root that replaces the lost tooth and also prevents the process of bone loss associated with missing teeth from further progressing.

In this case, the adjacent teeth should not undergo any carving or alteration, since the dental implant only covers the missing tooth, allowing the adjacent teeth to maintain their integrity.

In this way, the dental implant manages to rehabilitate the missing tooth, ensuring that the maxillary or mandibular bone maintains the bone mass and preserving the neighboring teeth, which the dental bridge does not allow.

So what is better, a dental implant or a dental bridge?

In general, dental implants represent the best option, both for their results and for their effects on the future of the bone structures of the mouth. However, and as usual, you cannot generalize, as there will be cases where dental bridges may be the best or only option.

Differences Between A Dental Implant Or A Dental Bridge

Differences Between A Dental Implant Or A Dental Bridge

Dental restoration

If there is a point of concordance between these two solutions, it is in the sense of dental restoration. Both solutions are useful for performing dental treatment to replace a missing tooth. Thus, the two treatments both imply the same utility.

However, it must be recognized that the dental implant helps stimulate the bone marrow by preserving the bone on which the old tooth was and in the same way prevents it from shrinking. The dental implant then helps protect the tooth against long-term bone loss. 

Oral health care

If there is one dental solution that supports the patient’s oral health, it is the dental bridge. It is even an addiction. The installation of a dental bridge and especially its durability depends on the health of the adjacent teeth which support the structure. Unlike this, the dental implant is not based on the adjacent teeth and therefore does not cause any adverse effects on them.

The durability and stability of the solution

Both dental solutions can solve the problem of missing teeth in the long term. This effectiveness period is above all a factor to take care of. Therefore, using a dental bridge to solve your problem will certainly require the use of adjacent teeth as support.

Over the years, this can prove to be a real pressure on these supporting teeth, thus contributing to a reduction in their life expectancy. On the other hand, dental implants do not require supporting teeth and are directly anchored in the jawbone while having a certain similarity to the natural roots of the surrounding teeth. 

Furthermore, the bridge has a life expectancy of between 10 and 20 years and can be subject to modification at any time. This modification can also be caused by the weakening of one of the supporting teeth. On the other hand, the installation of a bridge is quite quick and only requires two to three appointments over a few weeks, whereas the dental implant requires several appointments over several months.

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The aesthetic factor of the treatment

The aesthetic factor must also be taken into account in dental treatment in the sense that many people want, most of the time, for their dental solutions to help them maintain natural teeth.

If you are in this case, then you will have to opt for the dental implant in the sense that the root that is implanted in the bone will be covered with a crown similar and perfectly identical to your other healthy teeth.

However, you should know that the dental bridge is less expensive and takes longer to complete than the dental implant. On the other hand, the latter offers a better duration without requiring healthy teeth for installation.

How do you know which option is right for you?

Both dental implants and dental bridges have benefits. The best option will depend on your oral health needs as well as your budget. Installing an implant is more invasive than installing a dental bridge. However, dental implants feel and look very natural in the mouth.

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Conclusion

Additionally, for the dental implant procedure to be successful, you must have a sufficient volume of bone in the jawbone. If you don’t have enough bone in your jaw, you can still get an implant, but you will need to have bone grafting first so that the implant can be supported.

As a result, the dental implant procedure could take longer and be more invasive. The only way to know which tooth replacement option is best for you is to consult a dentist.

References

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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