If you have missing teeth, there are a few cosmetic restorations available to restore your smile. Two popular options are bridges and dental implants. Both improve esthetics, oral health, and oral function.
Each has distinct differences in durability, length of procedure, cost, and other important aspects.
When you visit the office of Salt Lake City dentist Dr. Rod Gleave, he’ll explain teeth replacement options and help you decide which treatment best suits your needs.
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between dental bridges and implants:
A dental bridge consists of one or more false teeth (called pontics) set between two abutment crowns. The crowns can be attached to healthy natural teeth or dental implants. If the last tooth on an arch needs to be replaced with a bridge, a cantilever bridge can be attached with a single abutment crown.
Pontics are usually made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal (PFM).
Advantages of Dental Bridges
- Procedure: The procedure for placing dental bridges is relatively simple. The dentist will prepare abutment teeth to receive crowns. He will then take an impression so that your custom bridge will fit your prepared teeth and opposing teeth. You’ll wear a temporary bridge or crowns while the lab fabricates your permanent bridge.
- Cost: Dental bridges have a lower treatment cost than implants.
- No surgery: Having a dental bridge placed does not require oral surgery.
- Durability: Implants are more durable than bridges. Since bridges are more susceptible to damage, they’re more likely to require replacement and repairs.
- Aesthetics: Both implants and bridges deliver natural-looking results, but many find that implants offer superior cosmetic results.
- Oral hygiene routine: Dental bridges can be difficult to properly clean. Flossing can be particularly challenging with dental bridges.
Disadvantages of Bridges
Dental implants are composed of titanium posts that are topped with dental crowns. After the initial placement, the post fuses with the surrounding jawbone tissue through a natural process known as osseointegration. Once the dental implant has integrated into a patient’s jawbone, a crown can be attached via a small metal device known as an abutment.
Advantages of Dental Implants
- Jawbone health: Tooth roots stimulate jawbone growth. Titanium posts stimulate the jawbone in a similar manner. This is something
whichthat dentures, partial dentures, and bridges cannot do.
- Durability: Implants are strong and durable, and they are resistant to decay and gum damage. Patients who have dental implants can enjoy natural chewing function. When properly maintained, implants can last a lifetime.
- Aesthetics: Most of our patients report that dental implants look just like their natural teeth.
- Oral care routine: Implants don’t require any special oral care routine – all you need to do is brush and floss as normal.
- Cost: Dental implants
dohave a higher upfront cost than bridges. However, this is counterbalanced by the fact that implants can last for a lifetime.
- Procedure: Implants require a lengthier treatment timeline that involves oral surgery
- Time: Having an implant set takes multiple visits to the dentist. You have to wait 3-6 months for the titanium post to fully integrate into the jawbone before the permanent crown can be placed. While you wait, you may be given a temporary crown.
Disadvantages of Implants
Implants vs Bridges: Conclusion
In most cases, implants are the preferable option. The ability to prevent jawbone atrophy is an important benefit of dental implants. Jawbone recession can cause an individual’s cheeks to appear sunken-in. The deterioration can also make it more difficult to chew
. This is why dental implants remain a top-pick among discerning dentists like Dr. Gleave .
Contact Our Salt Lake City Cosmetic Dentist
If you’re embarrassed about your smile or have difficulty chewing due to missing teeth, contact the office of Dr. Rod Gleave. He has extensive experience practicing cosmetic dentistry and delivering
, beautiful, renewed smiles. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.