Dental Bridge vs Implant: Which Is the Right Fit for Me?

In this blog from Lakeside Dental, we’re doing an in-depth comparison of dental bridges and dental implants. To find out more about the procedure, healing time, cost, and associated benefits of each procedure, read on.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a method of tooth replacement that involves shaving down the abutment teeth that are adjacent to the gap and fitting them with dental crowns. An artificial tooth is suspended in the middle to cover the gap of the missing tooth through a one-piece dental bridge that is cemented into place on the abutment teeth.

The procedure involves receiving a local anesthetic before filing down your two healthy abutment teeth which are adjacent to the gap. Impressions or a mold of your teeth will be taken to create a bridge that perfectly matches your natural teeth. When this bridge is ready, it will be secured into place with dental cement.

Advantages of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges help to restore the appearance and function of your teeth. They also help to distribute the force of your bite when you chew and prevent teeth from shifting by filling the space in the gums.

Bridges have a much shorter turnaround time compared to dental implants. A dental bridge will be fully completed within 4 weeks and this simple procedure is much less costly than implants.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a titanium post that is implanted into and fuses with the jawbone. Dental implants fully restore your tooth’s appearance and function unlike any other tooth restoration, because the jawbone is stimulated every time you chew, allowing it to function just like a regular tooth.

The dental implant procedure begins with local anesthesia and an incision made into the gums to reveal the jawbone. Dr. Joseph Blalock will drill into the jawbone and implant the titanium post. While you will heal within 2 weeks, you need to allow for 3-6 months of osseointegration (fusion with the jawbone).

Once osseointegration is complete, a second incision will be made into the gums to attach an abutment to your implant. You will need another 2 weeks of healing and then a dental crown can be placed 6 weeks later. 

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants are the only tooth restoration option that fully preserves and prevents further jawbone loss due to the stimulation of the jawbone through the implant. You are free to eat whatever you want and enjoy all of your usual activities with dental implants.

Dental implants are very low maintenance in that you clean them just like your regular teeth and they are extremely durable and don’t shift around. A dental implant can last for a lifetime with proper oral care and you will be able to chew and speak clearly without your teeth moving around.

Unlike dental bridges, implants don’t require healthy adjacent teeth to support a tooth restoration. Dental implants are a long-term tooth replacement option and you will only have to replace your dental crown.

Which is Right for Me?

When it comes to choosing between dental bridges and implants, there are a few factors to take into consideration. The most important aspects of these procedures to consider are time, cost, health, and the number of missing teeth you have.

Dental implants are preferable if you want a long-term solution that doesn’t need continual replacing and don’t mind shelling out more in the upfront cost. However, this time and cost can add up if you have multiple missing teeth that need replacing.

Dental bridges are a good option for those who are on a budget and are looking for a quicker fix. Dental implants take months to almost a year whereas bridges only take about 4 weeks for completion. 

If you have multiple missing teeth, bridges are preferable because implants would be required for each missing tooth, which would require a lot of healing time and would be very costly. Finally, a patient needs to be in very good oral health and have an adequate jawbone structure that can support implants. If there is not adequate jawbone, bone grafting may be required which will increase the healing time and cost.

Dental Bridges & Implants at Lakeside Dental

Invest in your future smile today with high-quality tooth restorations. Wondering if you’re a good candidate for dental bridges or implants? Contact us at Lakeside Dental today to find out. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Joseph Blalock for a consultation and evaluation today.