Last updated on January 14th, 2022
Dental implants and dental bridges are the two most common solutions to replace missing teeth. Even though implants and bridges treat the same dental problem, they use very different techniques.
What is Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a replacement tooth root which is typically made of titanium. It is a screw that is drilled into the jawbone. After the new bone grows around this screw, a crown will be placed on this screw.
What is Dental Bridge?
On the other hand, a dental bridge is not a replacement tooth root. Instead, it uses surrounding teeth as supports and bridges the gap between these teeth. Mostly the two surrounding teeth are shaved down, and then crowns are placed over these supporting teeth accompanied by the bridge that replaces the missing tooth.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Dental Implant and Bridge
Each option has its pros and cons that need to be considered before deciding which one to choose. And you need to discuss these advantages and disadvantages with your dentist for your specific case.
Aesthetics of Dental Implant and Bridge
Both dental implants and bridges fill the gap caused by missing tooth/teeth, and this replacement improves the aesthetics of your smile. The color of the replacement tooth can be completely matched with other teeth at both procedures. Although there is not a single answer for all cases, implant-supported replacement teeth look more natural since they emerge through the gums. So, it can be said that the best possible aesthetics can be achieved with a dental implant.
Costs of Dental Implant and Bridge
Dental bridge is a more affordable procedure than a dental implant. However, its price varies dramatically, and it needs to be replaced in a nearer future compared to implants. While a dental bridge can last about ten years on average, a high-quality dental implant can last a lifetime with proper care. So, even though a dental implant seems a costly treatment, considering the shorter replacement periods of the dental bridges, the implant may be a cost-effective solution in the long term. On the other hand, both procedures may require some further treatments before starting the process. These treatments increase the costs as well. So, each case is unique and must be discussed with the dentist in detail.
Treatment Durations of Dental Implant and Bridge
A dental bridge is a quicker procedure that can be completed in a couple of visits. On the other hand, a dental implant is a lengthy procedure that requires oral surgery and recovery time. Overall dental implant treatment duration takes 3 to 6 months. If bone loss is present, bone grafting treatment is required before placing the implant, and this treatment makes the procedure longer.
Maintenance of Dental Implant and Bridge
Dental implants are placed into the jawbone and function like natural teeth. So, they require the same care as natural teeth such as brushing, flossing, and regular dental examinations. However, the maintenance of a dental bridge requires some particular work. Because its design causes some challenges when brushing and flossing. For instance, special care is required to floss under the replacement tooth.
Durability of Dental Implant and Bridge
Dental implants are very strong and durable. With proper care, a high-quality dental implant can last a lifetime. Dental bridges can last more than ten years with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. The primary factor that affects the lifespan of a dental bridge is the health of supporting teeth. Cavities may occur on the supporting teeth, and this may reduce the lifespan of the dental bridge. This risk is much bigger for the cantilever bridges, where only one supporting tooth is used.
Other Considerations about Dental Implant and Bridge
Dental implant includes a surgery that makes it a more complex procedure. There is no surgical treatment required for dental bridges. On the other hand, dental implants maintain the bone structure by preventing the bone loss that is likely to occur after tooth loss. Since the dental bridge doesn’t have any contact with the jawbone, it can’t stop the bone shrinks, and some bone/gum loss will arise over time.
Since it requires a surgery where a screw is placed into the jaw, at first glance, dental implant seems a much more invasive procedure. However, healthy surrounding teeth are preserved at this treatment. Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as tooth-supported bridges do. At the dental bridge procedure, a significant amount of the structure is removed from supporting teeth.
Should I Get a Dental Bridge or a Dental Implant?
Your dentist can best answer this question. Because each case is unique. And besides all these abovementioned advantages and disadvantages, both procedures also have some eligibility requirements. Your dentist can determine your eligibility during the initial examination. Healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw are needed for the dental implant procedure. If the amount of bone is not enough or if the bone is not healthy, the implant can’t be placed without grafting bone into the area. A dental bridge doesn’t require bone grafting treatment if there is bone loss. On the other hand, the health of supporting teeth is a critical requirement for the dental bridge procedure.
Getting Dental Implant and Bridge Treatment Abroad
So, the roadmap for restoring your missing tooth/teeth is clear. You need to visit a trusted dentist to find out if you are eligible for these procedures and which one is the best option for you. Then you need to discuss all these advantages and disadvantages of the two procedures and let your dentist guide you based on specific considerations of your case.
At Maltepe Dental Clinic, our experienced dental team has completed many successful dental implant and dental bridges procedures for years. Besides the cost advantage of getting dental implant and bridge treatment in Turkey, we also offer the ultimate quality. Please contact us if you have further questions about these procedures.