A full set of clean, healthy teeth is crucial not just for your overall health, but for your confidence and self-esteem, too. Sometimes, even with your best efforts at oral hygiene, your teeth can still get damaged. Thankfully, there are many affordable dentistry options for you to choose from so you can retain a beautiful smile and the structural integrity of your jaw.
If you have missing teeth, your dentist will likely offer two options: a dental bridge or a dental implant. Both of these are permanent solutions that will be embedded into your teeth, in contrast to dentures, which are removable.
Read on for more information about dental bridges and dental implants, so you can make an informed decision before choosing between them.
Dental Bridge Procedure
A dental bridge is just as its name entails—a crown on both ends creates a bridge with a false tooth (or teeth) in between. The false tooth is made of porcelain, alloys, or even gold. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth are shaved down to accommodate the anchoring crowns placed on top of them.
Dental Bridge Pros:
- No invasive surgery needed
- Generally cheaper, although the crowns for each end can be costly
- Requires only two visits to the dentist
Dental Bridge Cons:
- Need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years
- Higher potential for cavities and tooth decay
- Can damage surrounding healthy teeth
Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure begins with a titanium post drilled into the jawbone, serving as anchors for the replacement tooth. A prosthetic tooth is then created to sit atop the post, with an abutment bridging the two.
Dental Implant Pros:
- The longest-lasting option for missing teeth, can last for more than 15 years
- 97% success rate over ten years
- No damage is done to surrounding teeth
Dental Implant Cons:
- Surgery can lead to complications
- The upfront cost may be higher than dental bridges
- A prolonged process that can take months
Choosing Between Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant
Each option has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you and your dentist to choose what’s best for your situation.
Generally, if you are missing a front tooth, you are encouraged to choose a dental implant. This is because the material used to create implants looks much more natural than a dental bridge’s prosthetic tooth. You need very high-quality porcelain material to maintain a natural-looking smile.
If you are missing back teeth and aesthetic isn’t your main priority, a dental bridge will be good enough to retain function.
The question of cost is complicated, too. Dental implants are much more costly upfront because they require delicate surgery and high-quality materials. However, they have an average lifespan of 20 years. The titanium post embedded in the jaw is highly resistant to decay and gum problems, so it will remain strong and healthy for all those years.
While dental bridges are generally cheaper, their maximum lifespan is only ten years. And because they are placed on top of the gap in your gums, they are vulnerable to disease and decay. You may be facing higher costs down the line.
If you’re missing a tooth, your best option is to choose between dental bridges or implants. These are two very different procedures that offer various pros and cons regarding longevity, cost, and aesthetics. A highly experienced dentist will be able to help you come to the best decision for your situation.
Are you in need of a dental implant procedure in Ann Arbor, MI? Dental House is here for you. We go the extra mile to provide a comfortable environment for all our patients. We have the latest dental technologies, and our dentists have a combined 47 years of experience in a wide range of dental techniques and procedures. Get a free consultation today!