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Dental Implants vs Bridges: Which is the Best Option for You?

Do you need help deciding between a dental implant vs bridge to restore your smile? You’re not alone. Many people find it challenging to determine the best tooth replacement option. Two of the most popular dental treatment options used to restore oral health and function are dental implants and bridges — both provide durable replacements for failing or lost teeth. But which is right for you? It’s important to understand how these solutions differ and what opportunities each provides to help make an informed decision.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive comparison of a dental implant vs bridge, guiding you through their advantages, disadvantages, and key factors to consider when deciding. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make an informed choice that best suits your needs.

Short Summary

  • Dental implants and bridges are two solutions for replacing missing teeth that offer different benefits, drawbacks, costs and longevity.
  • The eligibility criteria for each must be evaluated to determine candidacy. Factors such as bone density, smoking habits & overall oral health must be considered.
  • Cost is an important factor to consider, but other factors, such as durability & individual preferences, should also be weighed when deciding.

Dental Implant & Dental Bridge – Tooth Replacement Solutions

Woman with a confident smile showing her dental implants

Dental implants and dental bridges are two popular tooth replacement solutions that can help you regain a confident smile. Dental implants place a titanium screw into the jawbone, an artificial tooth root, with a crown or bridge attached. On the other hand, dental bridges use the support of adjacent teeth to hold a false tooth or teeth in place, requiring fewer visits and no surgery. Both options have their own benefits and drawbacks. Choosing between them depends on cost, durability, and impact on surrounding teeth.

Understanding dental implants vs bridges is essential in making an informed decision. Let’s explore each option in more detail, starting with the dental implant.

Understanding Dental Implants

A dentist performing a dental implant procedure on a patient

Dental implants are solutions for replacing missing or multiple teeth. They involve a surgical procedure where a titanium screw is placed into the jawbone as a tooth root. It provides a secure base for a replacement tooth or bridge, with a crown or bridge attached. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent and last for many years with proper care.

Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

Dental implants replace missing teeth and improve quality of life. They help maintain proper oral hygiene, prevent bone loss, and restore your smile’s natural appearance. However, a dental implant may only be right for some, and some potential drawbacks should be considered before deciding to get one.

The main pros of getting a dental implant include better oral health, improved aesthetics, and a more natural feeling when speaking or eating. A dental implant can also help prevent bone loss and provide stability for any remaining teeth. Once implanted, they require minimal maintenance and are designed to be long-lasting solutions for missing teeth.

A dental implant also costs are lower than a bridge, with a short recovery time and minimal discomfort. Most patients do not need painkillers the following day. However, it requires multiple visits – usually completed with 4 visits.

The Dental Implant Process

The dental implant process involves several steps, such as tooth extraction (if applicable), jawbone preparation, implant surgery, and recovery and healing. The entire process may take multiple months, depending on your requirements. Generally, the whole process from start to finish can be completed within 2-3 months over 2-3 appointments.

Tooth Extraction (if applicable):If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, it may need to be removed before the dental implant process can begin. Your dentist will determine if extraction is necessary and use a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. If the tooth is already missing, this step can be skipped.

Jawbone Preparation: Before the implant surgery, your jawbone needs to be prepared to receive the implant. It may involve bone grafting if you don’t have a healthy bone structure to support the implant. This process can take several months to complete as the bone takes time to heal and fuse with the graft material.

Implant Surgery: The actual implant surgical procedure involves placing a titanium post into your jawbone, where the missing tooth used to be. This post serves as the foundation for the replacement tooth. The surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the number of implants placed.

Recovery and Healing: After the implant surgery, you’ll need time to recover and allow the implant to fuse with the bone. This process can take several months, during which time you’ll need to avoid chewing on the implant site and follow your dentist’s instructions for proper care and maintenance.

Restoration: Once the implant has fully fused with your jawbone, an abutment is attached to the implant, connecting the implant and the replacement tooth. You’ll then have a custom-made implant crown or bridge that looks like the natural teeth attached to the abutment to complete the restoration process.

Caring for Dental Implants

Keeping good dental hygiene is the key to the long-term success of an implant. It includes brushing and flossing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste.

Additionally, it’s crucial to prevent gum disease and avoid smoking, as these factors can increase the risk of implant failure.

Understanding Dental Bridges

A patient with a dental bridge replacing their missing teeth

A dental bridge literally bridges existing teeth to provide support for the missing teeth. It is another solution for replacing missing teeth using the support of adjacent teeth to hold a false tooth or teeth in place. A dental bridge consists of one or more crowns for the teeth located on either side of the gap, known as abutment teeth, with the false teeth filling the gap, referred to as pontics.

Dental bridges require fewer visits and no surgery, providing a less invasive option than dental implants. However, they also come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are popular for replacing missing teeth, but the procedure has drawbacks. One benefit to dental bridges is that they provide a natural-looking replacement for the lost or missing tooth and help keep existing teeth from shifting out of alignment. Additionally, dental bridges can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.

On the downside, getting a dental bridge can be expensive, and the procedure requires more than one visit to the dentist. Furthermore, dental bridges require healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth for support, and those supporting teeth will need to be filed down to properly fit the crowns required for the bridge. Also, a dental bridge may not stay intact over time and even fall out without proper care and maintenance.

The Dental Bridge Process

The process of getting a dental bridge involves several steps:

Consultation: Your teeth will be examined, and your dentist will explain your treatment options for replacing the missing tooth. They will determine whether a dental bridge is the best option for you based on the missing tooth location, the condition of your remaining teeth, and other factors.

Preparation: Once you have decided to get a dental bridge, your dentist will prepare the natural teeth on each side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel. It is necessary to make room for the crowns to hold the bridge in place.

Impression: Next, your dentist will take an impression of your natural teeth using a putty-like material. This impression will create a custom-made bridge that fits perfectly in your mouth.

Temporary bridge: While your permanent bridge is made, a temporary bridge will be placed. It is usually acrylic and is designed to protect your exposed teeth and gums.

Fitting: Once your permanent bridge is ready, the temporary bridge will be removed, and the dentist will fit the new bridge in place. It will be adjusted to ensure it fits properly and feels comfortable, like a natural tooth.

Bonding: Finally, the bridge will be bonded in place using dental cement. This cement is a strong adhesive that will securely hold the bridge.

Caring for Dental Bridges

It’s essential to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily to ensure the longevity of dental bridges. It’s also important to use non-abrasive toothpaste and avoid hard and adhesive foods that can damage the bridge.

Comparing Implants and Bridges: Key Factors to Consider

A comparison of dental implants and bridges

When deciding between dental implants vs bridges, it’s crucial to consider factors such as cost, durability, and impact on surrounding teeth. The right choice for you will depend on your situation and preferences.

Let’s dive deeper into these key factors to help you make an informed decision.

Cost Comparison

Dental implants are cheaper than dental bridges, with an average cost of around $2,800. It may last a lifetime, while dental bridges need to be replaced for an average of 10 years. When amortized, a dental bridge is expensive.

The dental implant is a better way to go as an investment.

Durability and Lifespan

Dental implants boast a higher success rate and a longer lifespan than dental bridges. Dental implants can last 10 to 30 years if well-maintained, while a dental bridge lasts 10 to 20 years. It makes dental implants a more durable and long-lasting solution for tooth replacement.

Impact on Surrounding Teeth

Dental implants have a minimal impact on adjacent teeth, as they are inserted directly into the jawbone and do not rely on adjacent teeth for support. Dental implants can aid in the protection and maintenance of the jawbone and the adjacent teeth and gums. However, it’s important to be aware of the risk of peri-implantitis, a gum infection surrounding the implant. Left untreated can lead to inflammation, pain, and even bone loss.

A dental bridge, on the other hand, relies on the support of adjacent teeth, which can affect their long-term health and stability. In some cases, the adjacent teeth may need to be reduced in size or even extracted to accommodate the dental bridge. It increases the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease in the surrounding teeth.

Determining Your Candidacy for Implants or Bridges

A patient with a confident smile

Eligibility for dental implants and bridges is an important factor when deciding. Dental implants have stricter requirements than dental bridges, with factors like bone density and smoking habits playing a significant role in determining candidacy.

On the other hand, good candidates for a dental bridge must have at least two strong teeth on each side, maintain good oral and general health, and avoid gum disease. Let’s explore the specific eligibility criteria for both dental implants and dental bridges in more detail.

Eligibility for Dental Implants

To be considered a suitable candidate for dental implants, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, which will be determined during an initial treatment consultation. Factors such as bone density, smoking habits, and overall oral health significantly determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. Your dentist will give an overall assessment and discuss it with you.

Suppose you do not possess adequate bone for implant placement. In that case, you may require a sinus lift procedure or bone graft procedure to restore the lost bone to the proposed implant site before proceeding with the actual implant placement.

Eligibility for Dental Bridges

To be considered a suitable candidate for a dental bridge, you must possess at least two strong teeth on either side of the gap, maintain good oral and general health, and avoid gum diseases. Gingivitis and periodontitis can infect and weaken the abutment teeth, making the conventional dental bridge an unsuitable option for you. An implant bridge may be recommended as an alternative option in such cases.


In conclusion, dental implants and bridges offer their benefits and drawbacks as missing tooth replacements. Dental implants provide a more durable, long-lasting solution with minimal impact on surrounding teeth. Unlike dental bridges, it can be cheaper when amortized through a lifetime as it doesn’t need to be replaced every ten years.

Ultimately, deciding between dental implants and bridges depends on your situation, preferences, and eligibility. By considering factors such as cost, durability, impact on surrounding teeth, and eligibility requirements, you can make a choice that suits your needs and restores your confident smile. Consult with your dentist to discuss the most suitable treatment option for you and embark on the journey towards a healthier, more beautiful smile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, bridge or implant?

The answer to this question depends on individual circumstances. Dental implants are better because they are durable and last longer than dental bridges. However, dental bridges can be more expensive as they should be replaced every ten years. A dental implant can be cheaper unless a bone graft is needed and can last a lifetime.

Are dental implants painful?

During surgery, pain is minimal with proper technique and using the best materials. Hours after dental implant surgery, the anaesthetic will still be in effect; you will feel no pain or discomfort. You will experience minor pain and discomfort that will fade relatively quickly when it wears off.

Your dentist will provide detailed instructions for post-operative care to help minimize pain and promote healing.

Let Us Help You in Taking Care of Your Dental Health

Casa Dental ensures to provide the first-class service to a wide range of clientele including local and expatriate patients from young to old.
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