Losing one or several teeth can be devastating because it affects your smile and the way you eat. One missing tooth can prevent you from enjoying your favorite meals or even affect the way you chew your food. That’s why it’s important to replace the missing tooth as soon as possible.
Fortunately, there are many tooth replacement options that you can choose from. However, the most common options at the moment are dental bridges and implants. Continue reading to learn the difference between a dental bridge and an implant.
Difference Between Dental Bridges and Implants
Dental implants have proved to be more durable and stronger than dental bridges. That’s why dental implants are considered a lifetime teeth replacement option. Implants are typically made from titanium, which fuses with the jawbone naturally through osseointegration to serve as a permanent root of the tooth. Since a dental implant is made from solid metal, it is resistant to decay and infections.
Dental bridges, on the other hand, seem to deteriorate over time. Their average life is about ten years. And since a portion of your tooth remains beneath the bridge, the remaining tooth structure is still susceptible to decay and infections.
Dental implants are covered with dental crowns that resemble your natural teeth. And because these implants are permanently attached to the jawbone, they are correctly aligned with your natural teeth to give you a natural smile. Also, a dental implant helps to preserve the natural level of your jawbone by preventing shrinking. It also prevents the neighboring teeth from shifting, thus improving the final appearance of your dental work. Therefore, it’s correct to say that dental implants offer more pleasing results than bridges.
The cost of placing dental bridges is less, but you may have to replace them several times in the future. According to the American Dental Association, a standard dental bridge costs approximately $500 per tooth, while more advanced ones can cost up to $1,200. Nevertheless, this cost doesn’t include the price of a dental crown attached to the nearby teeth. This crown costs between $500 to $2,500 per tooth.
On the other hand, dental implants are more expensive because they involve a complex surgical process that may require you to do bone grafting and schedule several visits to the dentist’s office. Nonetheless, their durability and resistance against infections make them more cost-effective than bridges.