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Should you opt for a dental implant or a dental bridge?

When a decayed tooth cannot be saved even by root canal treatment, sometimes tooth extraction becomes the only solution. But what happens to the gap that is left behind, especially if it the extracted tooth was important to maintain normal functionality?

Studies in the field reveal that many adults aged 35 years to 44 years have lost at least one tooth. By the time they reach a certain age, much of their teeth are lost. However, it can cause several other problems unless the lost tooth or teeth are replaced. In such cases teeth replacement becomes essential.

Benefits of tooth replacement

With teeth loss, the alignment of teeth gets disturbed. In such cases teeth replacement becomes very much essential. Teeth replacement helps to maintain facial shape. It also helps avoid difficulties with speaking or eating.

Latest dental treatments enable patients to avail the best teeth replacements. The latest advancements in dental treatment in recent times have been phenomenal. When it comes to the latest dental treatments, dental implants and dental bridges are the two most popular options now widely used.

If you have lost teeth and are looking for a tooth replacement, you have to choose between the two. So, let us see in detail the pros and cons of each of these treatments and see which is the one that will be more suitable for the two.

What is a dental implant?

Teeth replacement is a complicated procedure. The underlying structure includes bones, ligaments and nerves. If the teeth replacement is not done properly, it can also lead to a deterioration of the surrounding area. 

In the case of a dental implant, the existing damaged tooth structure is replaced with a metal post. It is usually made of titanium. They are mounted on the jaw bone with the help of screws that are screwed into the jaw bone. Once this is done, new bone grows typically around the tooth, which helps to secure it in the existing position.

What are dental bridges?

Dental bridges are also used to replace the missing tooth. They are false teeth placed in the place of the missing tooth. They are held in place by the other surrounding teeth. They are usually made of porcelain or even plastic to match the natural teeth colour. Dental bridges can cover one tooth or, when needed, can also cover up several teeth.

Dental implants versus dental bridge

If you check, you will find that dental implants and dental bridges have similar functions. Both of them are used to replace missing teeth. Both of them give natural-looking results. However, each of these dental treatments has its benefits and drawbacks. So, let us make a direct comparison between the two.

Dental bridge pros

  • It does not require invasive surgery

The first and foremost benefit of using dental bridges to replace a missing tooth is it can be done without bone grafting. It does not require invasive surgery. It is a significant advantage for sure.

  • Lower costs compared to dental implants.

No matter what type of dental treatment it is, you will know they are expensive when you compare the cost of dental bridges with dental implants; however, they cost less and thus a distinct advantage.

  • Requires fewer visits to the dentist

Unlike dental implants, the following advantage of dental bridges is it requires fewer visits to the dentist. Generally, it is seen that it requires two visits to the dentist. It is usually spread over two weeks. Thus, it is less time consuming, and recovery is quick.

Dental bridge cons

  • Not very long-lasting

When it comes to any dental treatment, you will want them to be more long-lasting without any doubt. Despite its benefits, one drawback of dental bridges is that they are not very long-lasting compared to dental implants. Even with the best quality dental bridges, they last only about 5 to 7 years. Only in some exceptional cases, they can last up to 10 years. But if you see, you will find that dental implants are much more long-lasting and can easily last up to 15 years.

  • The natural look may deteriorate after some time

Another drawback of dental bridges is that over time the natural colour of the dental bridge can deteriorate, and thus it may not match with the other natural teeth. It is why you may want to opt for dental implants instead.

  • Can damage the surrounding teeth

As already mentioned, the dental bridges obtain support from the surrounding healthy teeth around the missing teeth. The result is that it damages the surrounding teeth. Thus, you may face other dental teeth problems in the long run. 

  • Can cause cavities and tooth decay in surrounding teeth

The dental bridges can bring about tooth decay and cavities in the surrounding teeth.

Dental implants pros

  • Tend to last longer

It is seen that dental implants can easily last for 15 years or more and thus the foremost advantage.

  • The natural look and appearance are maintained

The natural appearance of dental implants is retained longer and thus preferred by many.

  • Dental implants do not damage the surrounding teeth

Unlike dental bridges, dental implants do not damage the surrounding healthy teeth and are thus the healthier option out of the two.

Dental implants cons

  • Dental implants can be time-consuming.

Unlike dental bridges, dental implants require more sittings with the dentist and are thus more time-consuming. In some cases, it can last up to 6 months.

  • It can lead to surgical complications

Since dental implants require invasive treatments, they can lead to surgical complications.

  • Implants are more expensive

Dental implants are more expensive compared to dental bridges. What is also worse is that they are not covered under medical insurance.

How to choose between the two?

A dentist can provide you with the best options for your budget and overall health when it comes to tooth replacement. They will also advise on how many teeth are missing to determine which type is most suitable given what’s left behind by lost enamel and so on.

To conclude, we hope by now you have been able to give you a pretty good idea about both the dental treatments. Depending on your overall dental condition and the advice of your dentist, you have to decide.

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