Dental Bridge vs Dental Implant

Dental Bridge vs Dental Implant, Which one is a better option?

This can be a tough decision, a dental bridge vs dental implant. Here are a few general guidelines we follow that may help you decide. If the adjacent teeth around a missing space are already cracked or decayed and require crowns, a bridge is a more practical option. However, a dental implant is almost always the best and most conservative option for tooth replacement because teeth adjacent to the missing space are not affected by the placement of an implant. Choosing to place an implant rather than a bridge also gives the benefit of preserving bone. When teeth are removed, bone dissolves in the space the tooth once occupied. This can result in a sunken in appearance from lack of bone support for facial structures. Implants keep bone active and prevent resorption.

young man bright smile wondering Dental Bridge Vs Dental Implant

Let’s Compare:
Dental Bridge vs Dental Implant

Basic Information to help You make an Informed Decision!
Bridge:
Used to bridge the gap created by missing teeth.


Implant:
The best long-term solution to replace missing teeth.

Longevity7-30 yearsLifetime
Preservation of healthy adjacent teethNoYes
Transmission of force to:Adjacent teethBone
Prevent bone loss & preserve the facial appearancePartiallyYes
A requirement for daily flossingYesYes
Risk of developing cavitiesYesNo
Accelerated loss of adjacent teethYesNo
Time needed to complete the procedure2-3 weeks3-6 Months
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What is the cost for an implant vs a three-unit bridge for the replacement of one single tooth in an area near me in Lincoln, NE?

The cost of a single implant is around $3500-$4000 and a 3 unit bridge is around $3300 without any dental insurance coverage. If your specific insurance policy does cover part of your treatment, the cost may be lower for those procedures.

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Are dental bridges a good idea?

One must consider all factors before making a choice when it comes to a dental bridge vs implant. Traditionally, placing a dental bridge requires preparation such as grinding down adjacent teeth. Grinding down the adjacent teeth allows them to be used as anchors. A dental implant, however, only involves the one tooth and is very similar to having a crown placed.

beautiful female patients smile

Can a dental bridge be replaced?

Repair or treatment to a dental bridge fully depends upon the cause of the malfunction. Once supporting teeth have been treated, providing they are still healthy enough, a replacement bridge can then be made. If your dentist can’t repair the abutment teeth, often times they can be replaced with implants that will support a new bridge.

Adult woman thinking of dental care

How much does a bridge cost for a single tooth?

As with any type of dental procedure, the cost can vary. There are many factors that can go into deciding the final cost of a bridge. The best way to find out is to make an appointment for a consultation. At this appointment, your dentist can evaluate your specific needs, current situation, and look at your health history. From there, he or she can help determine if a dental bridge is right for you.

The bottom line is that when it comes to deciding between a dental bridge vs implant, listen to your dentist’s recommendation. Ultimately, their opinion holds the most value since they know your history and their knowledge can help you make the most informed decision between a dental bridge vs dental implant. Decisions, decisions! So many great options and to throw another curveball, Nebraska Family Dentistry offers affordable dental care by accepting many forms of payments as well as offering a handful of different payment options. This way, you can get the dental care you need and the smile you deserve! When a tooth is lost it should be replaced. All teeth are important. Often it is difficult to decide whether to have your dentist replace your missing tooth with a dental bridge vs implant. Both methods are good but both have different advantages and disadvantages.

If you had to choose between a dental bridge vs dental implant, which one do you think you would prefer? When it comes to replacement of a missing tooth and being able to find affordable dental care, these are typically two options that patients have. Unfortunately, it seems as though many patients do not have all of the information that they need to make an informed decision.

While it is okay to trust in the advice of your Lincoln dentist, it may indeed be worth your time to sit down and do a little research. Not only will you know what you are getting with a dental bridge vs dental implant, but it may also help you come up with some critical questions to ask before making your final decision. When making an informed decision, it is best to know exactly how both options work. Think about it in both contexts: dental bridge vs dental implant and Implant vs dental bridge. The benefit of asking the same question in two different ways is that an important detail may be left out of one question and might make it seem that the answer implies something completely different. Switch it up a bit; it might be worth it. You could uncover some hidden information that could be very beneficial. Let’s get to the bottom of it. How do these options function?

dental implant illustration on Dental Bridge Vs Dental Implant

How does a dental implant work?

In short, a dental implant is essentially a manufactured tooth root often made out of titanium that gets placed in the spot where your missing tooth once was. While a protective cover is then placed over the screw, it is through the process of osseointegration, that the hardware then fuses and becomes one with the jawbone.

dental bridge illustration on Dental Bridge Vs Dental Implant

How does the dental bridge concept work?

Rather than using a titanium post placed into the jawbone, a bridge uses surrounding teeth as a form of support for an artificial crown. Although this may sound like the easier option knowing that it requires less time and no drilling, a dental bridge can indeed be more invasive than an implant. How so? Well, once you get a dental bridge, there are constant adjustments and alignments of neighboring teeth that must be done. That’s correct, the teeth that were just fine before you got the bridge are now requiring work in order to be able to have the bridge placed.

The term “dental bridge” tells you all that you need to know about what it is and how it works. Just like a bridge on the road would close a gap between two pieces of land that may lie on each side of a body of water, for example, a dental bridge does the same and closes a gap left between teeth. The neighboring teeth act as anchors so to speak and have to be prepped before the bridge can be put in place. As mentioned earlier, a bridge is made by using the teeth next to the missing tooth, as anchors. Consequently, the teeth next to the missing tooth must be altered. This is done by taking away some of the tooth structure and is done in the same way as when a tooth is prepared for a crown.

In short, a bridge is 3 crowns that are connected together. In the end, one piece is formed and then cemented in place. Ultimately, the middle crown floats over the gum tissues but maintains the space. Bone recedes under the floating crown and over time, this can lead to the supporting teeth being lost. Teeth under a bridge are also susceptible to getting decay. Bridges can last over 10 years but typically, tend to last closer to 5 years. Just like any procedure, there may be some hesitation. Getting a bridge has advantages and disadvantages, which are listed below.

The advantages of bridges are:

  • Most dentists have the knowledge to make them.
  • They can be made quickly.
  • They usually provide good aesthetics.

The disadvantages of bridges are:

  • The anchor teeth, which may have no fillings are permanently altered and could be eventually lost due to the capping process.
  • The capped teeth may get decay where the cap meets the tooth.
  • If any part if the bridge fails, the whole bridge often fails involving more than one tooth.

Replacing missing teeth is important to keep our surrounding teeth healthy. Teeth move into open spaces over time, which can affect how we bite together. Also, teeth may become more susceptible to getting cavities, which can result in more teeth needing to be extracted.

Another option for replacing missing teeth is a dental implant, which is done by an oral surgeon. Implants are essentially artificial roots that are placed directly into the bone. The dentist then adds a crown to the implant giving you that seamless smile. The implant helps stimulate supporting bone health and is allowed to heal for 3-4 months. The crown which is placed on top of the implant after integration, can last a lifetime. Overall, the dental implant process can be quite lengthy and take upwards of six months. It is however, ultimately a process that proves very durable and can last many, many years.

Implants can replace more than one missing tooth and they can even be an option for replacing all teeth. If several missing teeth are next to each other, the dentist might have a difficult time trying to make a bridge work. Why? Creating a bridge can be tricky since there needs to be one healthy tooth on each side of the one that is missing to act an anchor.

On the whole, implants generally don’t require much maintenance and are much easier to floss around. Even better, implants can offer that natural look that everybody wants. Implants eliminate slipping and rubbing that often happens with other options such as traditional dentures, for example. Curious how implants may or may not benefit you? The pros and cons can be found below.

Advantages of implants:

  • Other teeth in the mouth are not altered as occurs with a bridge.
  • Only the space where the missing tooth is lost is involved in the treatment.
  • Implants help to preserve the bone in the area they are placed.
  • Implants can last a lifetime.

Disadvantages of dental implants are:

  • Dental implants take longer to complete than a bridge.
  • Dental implants are more expensive and rarely are covered by dental insurances.

There are still many added benefits for bridges, however. One significant advantage is that it is not a surgical procedure. A dental bridge can still be very stable once it is fixed correctly in place and anchored on the two adjacent teeth.

So, when it comes to choosing between a dental bridge vs implant, be aware that you may not always have a choice. If you have had significant bone loss in the jaw, your only option may be a bridge. At that point, it would be the least painful and most practical option.

While this isn’t a complete list, here are some additional commonly asked questions that may help you decided between a dental bridge vs dental implant?

What is the best option and why should I replace a missing tooth with an implant?

Implants are the best option we have to replace missing teeth because they do not require us to work on adjacent teeth and they last a lifetime. They restore full function and aesthetics after a tooth is taken out without compromising the health of other teeth.

So for the long term, an implant is definitely the better choice. Although it is more expensive than a bridge, a dental implant will act as the root of a tooth, which will help stimulate the gum tissue. Therefore, the surrounding teeth will not begin to cave into the open spot. Additionally, a con for an implants would be that it is more expensive.

Another pro for the bridge; it is more cost-effective for patients. Keep in mind however, the two surrounding teeth are compromised to be able to place the bridge. Also, bacteria can get in under the bridge. Ultimately, this could lead to the development of cavities under the bridge, which could develop into an infection. In some cases, an infection can cause the loss of an entire bridge.  

dr kathryn with sedation dentistry patient

What are the pros and cons of replacing a tooth with a dental bridge?

Bridges are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. They restore aesthetics and some function. They are a fixed prosthetic, which means they do not have to be taken in and out of the mouth when we eat or brush. The downside of a bridge is that we have to prepare adjacent teeth on either side of the missing space for crowns in order to place the bridge. Usually, patients can keep their bridge healthy for about 8-10 years, but typically this type of restoration does not last a person’s lifetime. When a bridge fails, it is usually due to secondary decay around the supporting teeth. Or, the bridge itself breaking due to chewing forces over time. Often times, this results in the loss of supporting teeth.

catering dental team

What is the difference in the cost between a single implant vs three unit bridge for the replacement of one tooth?

The cost of a single implant is around $4000 and a 3 unit bridge around $3300 with no dental insurance coverage. If your specific insurance policy does cover part of your treatment, the cost may be lower.

happy patient by Lincoln family dentists

How long does a dental bridge last?

Dental bridges can last anywhere from five to 15 years, possibly even longer.  Good home care and oral hygiene along with routine checkups can greatly increase the lifespan of a dental bridge. It is not uncommon for the lifespan of a bridge to be over 10 years.

dental bridge example in lincoln ne

Who can benefit from bridges?

Patients who have one missing tooth can benefit from this procedure and if the adjacent teeth next to the missing tooth require extra support, it can also be beneficial. If you choose a bridge, some bone will still be lost in areas and you may develop cavities.

nfd member talking to patient

Who can benefit from implants?

Patients who have one missing tooth, especially a chewing tooth, can benefit from this procedure. Rarely, a patient may not be a good candidate for the successful placement of implants and on occasion, additional surgery may be needed to ensure adequate bone support to the implants being placed.

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Nebraska Family Dentistry has dental clinic locations in all parts of Lincoln! Choose “near me dentist” location that is convenient for you.