When it comes to replacing missing teeth, you’ve got some options. Two popular restorations used to replace missing teeth are dental implants and dental bridges. The question is which option is right for you?
What are those ?
A dental implant is basically an artificial tooth root that is anchored in place of a missing tooth. A temporary protective cover screw is placed on the implant while it fuses with the jawbone (a process called osseointegration). This process can take up to six months to complete, but creates an incredibly stable, durable prosthetic. After completed osseointegration, the protective cover is replaced by a temporary crown. This serves as a template around which the gum grows and shapes itself in a natural way. The process is completed when the temporary crown is replaced by a permanent crown.
A dental bridge is in some ways less invasive and other ways more invasive than a dental implant. Unlike implants, bridges do not replace a tooth root. Rather, a bridge uses one or more surrounding teeth as a support on which to attach a crown that can fill the missing tooth space. The treatment process is not nearly as long as the implant process (which requires osseointegration); though in some ways it is more invasive because it requires the permanent alteration of adjacent teeth to support the bridge. As the name implies, a dental bridge literally bridges the gap between teeth resulting from a missing tooth. The restoration therefore must be anchored to one or more adjacent teeth, which must first be filed down in order to function as a support.
Dental implantation must be performed after adolescence when bone growth is complete. X-ray or CT scans will likely be used to evaluate bone density and quality and to determine whether a potential implant patient has enough bone structure for implantation. Smokers will need to quit in order to qualify as a candidate due to the fact that there is a higher rate of implant failure for smokers. Additionally, people suffering from diabetes, cancer or periodontal disease may need additional treatments in order to qualify for implantation.
Dental bridge candidacy is far less restrictive than dental implant candidacy because of the relatively less invasive nature of the bridge procedure. The primary factor in determining bridge candidacy is the health and stability on the supporting teeth. If you suffer from periodontal disease, tooth decay or have chips or cracks, you may need to undergo additional treatments before the teeth are strong enough to support a dental bridge.
The Cost of Implants vs Bridges
Oftentimes when it comes to selecting a treatment option cost is ultimately the deciding factor . And in the case of dental implants vs dental bridges, cost can be deceiving.Dental implantation is one of the more costly dental treatments,alternatively, a dental bridge may cost significantly less.
Considering that dental implants are more restrictive in terms of candidacy, the procedure takes significantly longer to be completed, and they may cost twice as much, you may be asking yourself, why would anyone opt for an implant over a bridge? In one word, the answer is durability.
A dental bridge will likely last between 10 and 20 years before it must be replaced. If cared for properly, an implant can last 40 years or longer.
So an implant might cost you more time and money in the short term, but over the lifetime of your smile, it may actually save you both.