Replacing missing teeth is now easy and quick, thanks to the many tooth replacement options available. These options are meant to help you restore your natural smile and continue enjoying your life without disruptions. Two of the most sought-after tooth replacement options are dental implants and bridges. In this article, we will tell you the difference between a bridge and a dental implant.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Also referred to as an endosseous implant, a dental implant is a surgical component designed to interface with the jawbone to support a dental prosthesis or serve as an orthodontic anchor. A dental implant is made from titanium, which is completely biocompatible. Therefore, it is expected to fully bond with the jawbone through osseointegration to hold the dental prosthesis permanently. A dental prosthesis can be a dental crown, denture, or bridge.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis designed to replace one or several missing teeth. A dental bridge is typically attached to neighboring teeth or dental implants for support. There are different types of dental bridges, including conventional bridges, fixed-fixed bridges, cantilever, fixed-movable bridges, spring cantilever, adhesive bridge, hybrid designs, and combination designs.
Difference Between a Dental Implant and a Bridge
While both dental bridges and implants can deliver a natural-looking outcome, they have their differences.
A dental bridge doesn’t require invasive surgery or jawbone grafting because it is attached to the neighboring natural teeth or dental implant. On the other hand, a dental implant involves an invasive procedure, which may include bone grafting if the available bone tissue is not sufficient to support the implant.
A dental bridge requires a maximum of two visits to the dental clinic. Furthermore, these visits can be spread over several weeks to give you enough time to concentrate on other more important tasks. Dental implants require several visits to the dentist and can take up to 6 months, especially if you replace several teeth.
Dental implants are designed to replace the missing teeth permanently, bearing in mind that they completely integrate with your jawbone. Dental bridges, on the other hand, need to be replaced after every 5 to 7 years.
Since dental implants can integrate with your jawbone, they will restore your natural smile. However, dental bridges lose their natural appearance with time.
The cost of placing dental implants is higher than that of bridges, especially because implants involve multifaceted surgery. But the overall cost of replacing dental bridges after every five years makes implants more cost-effective in the long run.