Dental Implants Versus Bridges
Dental implants are more appropriate for the replacement of one or more teeth and are usually preferred to dental bridge for the following reasons:
- No grinding of neighboring teeth
In dental implants, the neighboring teeth do not need to be modified; however, if you go for dental bridges, the surrounding teeth must be ground down to support the dental bridge that is built to fill in the missing gap. Thus dental implants protect the adjacent natural teeth, whereas bridges do not.
- Implants offer better, enduring restorative treatment
Proper care can ensure that dental implants last a lifetime. Contrarily, dentures and bridgework may need replacement every 10-15 years. Although implants involve a higher initial cost, they are a more cost-effective solution than other dental procedures, especially if retrievability, life expectancy, impact on surrounding teeth are taken into account. Moreover, implants require less maintenance compared to conventional fixed bridges.
- No risk of carries or tooth decay in implants
Since implants are made of porcelain or metal, there is no risk of tooth decay, fractures, pulpal disease or caries. However, if the abutment tooth of a bridge decays or develops caries, the entire bridge needs replacement and more treatment, including core build-up, pulp cap, or root canal therapy.
- Dental Implants replace a single or series of lost teeth
While conventional dental bridges usually require healthy neighboring teeth for long-term uses, dental Implants can replace a single or series of missing teeth and posterior molars. A denture or bridge must be used in combination with some implants for a full mouth bridge reconstruction. On the other hand, dental implants are used to support a single artificial crown or tooth.
- Dental Implants preserve oral health
Implants can preserve facial structure and oral health by stimulating bone growth in cases where missing teeth cause the surrounding bone to shrink. In fact, implants can protect the structure and shape of the underlying jaw bone, thus preserving the overlying facial structures.
- Dental implants are strong
Made from titanium or porcelain, implants are strong. Implants can perform the same function as a natural tooth. This is not the case with dental bridges, which are not as strong as implants.
- Dental implants are easy to maintain, clean
Dental implants can be cleaned easily. They are easy to maintain than bridgework, which require floss threaders to fix bridges, making it difficult to clean and maintain them.
- No need for jaw surgery for dental bridges
While implants need a surgical procedure for placement, bridges do not require any surgical procedure.
- Dental bridges can be completed quicker than implants
Traditional implants are a time-consuming process and might require you to wait for the jaw to heal properly before the prosthetics are finally placed. Contrarily, most bridges can be completed in a couple of sessions. However, innovation in the field of dental implantation has ensured that with good bone condition, implants may be completed in one trip.
- Dental implant looks natural
An implant looks like a natural tooth, which is growing out of the gum. In the case of bridges, an illusion of natural appearance can be created sometimes, but not always.
If the surrounding teeth are also decayed and need crowns, a bridge is the most sensible option. However, remember that implants do not affect the healthy teeth, leaving their natural order and appearance intact. On the other hand, a bridge may involve even the surrounding healthy teeth to support the bridge structure. Thus implants are a better and cost-effective solution to dental problems.