Dental Implants vs Bridge: Pros, Cons, Costs, And Which Is Best For You?

Key takeaways

  • Dental implants and bridges are both solutions for missing teeth, but each has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice between the two depends on factors such as dental health, cost, and personal preference.
  • Dental implants are durable, improve oral health, feel and look natural, and have a high success rate. However, they are costly, require a longer procedure timeline and involve surgical risks.
  • Dental bridges are more affordable and quicker to implement than dental implants and don\’t require surgery. However, they can damage adjacent teeth, might not look as natural, and do not prevent bone loss or stimulate bone growth.
  • The choice between dental implants and dental bridges depends on various factors, including oral health, cost, and personal preference.
Dental Implants

Missing teeth can be a hindrance to your everyday life and self-confidence.

Fortunately, dental implants and bridges provide a solution to bring back your bright smile. But which option is best for you?

In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of Melbourne dental implants vs bridges, their costs, and procedures, and help you determine which option works best for your specific needs.

Dental Implant vs. Bridge - Pros & Cons

Fortunately, dental implants and bridges provide a solution to bring back your bright smile. But which option is best for you? In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of Melbourne dental implants vs bridges, their costs, and procedures, and help you determine which option works best for your specific needs.
Dental Implants

Pros Of Dental Implants

Dental implants are a long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. They are made of biocompatible materials like titanium, which allows them to fuse with the jawbone and function like a natural tooth root. Some advantages of dental implants include:
  • Durability: Dental implants are designed to last for decades or even a lifetime with proper care. They resist decay and will not wear down like natural teeth or bridges.
  • Improved oral health: Since dental implants replace the entire tooth, they prevent bone loss and stimulate natural bone growth, ensuring the health of the surrounding teeth and gum tissues.
  • Comfort and function: Dental implants feel natural in the mouth, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
  • Appearance: Implants can be colour-matched to your existing teeth for a seamless, natural-looking restoration.
  • Predictable results: Dental implant placement has a very high success rate, typically around 95-98%.
Of course, dental implants are not without their drawbacks.

Cons Of Dental Implants

While dental implants offer many benefits, they also come with some disadvantages to consider:
  • Cost: Dental implants can be expensive, often costing more than bridges. Insurance may not cover the full cost, meaning patients could face out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Procedure timeline: The dental implant process involves multiple appointments and can take several months to complete. Patients who want immediate results may prefer a dental bridge.
  • Surgical risks: Dental implants require surgery, which carries risks like infection, nerve damage, or complications during healing.
  • Dental health requirements: Not everyone is an ideal candidate for dental implants. Patients need healthy gum tissue and adequate bone density to support the implant.
Now, let us explore the pros and cons of dental bridges.

Cons Of Dental Bridge

Here are some disadvantages associated with dental bridges:
  • Adjacent tooth damage: Teeth adjacent to the gap must be filed down for the dental bridge to fit, which can compromise their structural integrity and make them more susceptible to decay and damage.
  • Less natural appearance: Dental bridges might not look as natural as dental implants due to the support needed from neighbouring teeth.
  • Potential for bone loss: Since dental bridges do not replace tooth roots, they do not prevent bone loss and will not stimulate bone growth like dental implants can.
  • Replacement over time: Dental bridges may need to be replaced more frequently than dental implants, making them potentially less cost-effective over time.

Pros Of Dental Bridge

A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis that fills a gap left by a missing tooth by using crowns placed on adjacent teeth to support a false tooth in the middle. Dental bridges have some distinct advantages over implants:

  • Cost: Dental bridges are usually more affordable than dental implants, making them an accessible option for many patients.
  • Faster treatment: The dental bridge procedure is less invasive and faster than dental implant placement. Typically, patients can have a dental bridge placed in just two or three appointments.
  • Less complex: Dental bridges do not require surgery or bone grafting, making them a simpler treatment option for patients who do not want or cannot undergo implant surgery.
  • Reliable dental restoration: Although not as long-lasting as dental implants, dental bridges can still last for 10–15 years or longer with proper care.

However, dental bridges also have some drawbacks to consider.

Dental Implants vs. Bridges - Cost

One of the most critical factors to consider when deciding between dental implants and bridges is cost. While dental implants tend to be more expensive upfront, their long-lasting nature makes them a more cost-effective option for many patients. Prices for implants can range from $1,500 to $4,000 per tooth, depending on factors such as the type of implant and where you live. Dental bridges typically cost around $700 to $1,500 per tooth, although more complex cases may be more expensive.

Dental Implants vs. Bridges - Procedure

When it comes to tooth replacement options, two popular choices are dental implants and dental bridges. Both dental procedures offer unique benefits, and determining the right one for you depends on various factors, such as your oral health, budget, and personal preferences. We will provide an in-depth look into both dental implant and dental bridge procedures, helping you make a well-informed decision between the two.

Dental Implant Procedure

A dental implant is a permanent tooth replacement solution that consists of an artificial tooth root usually made from titanium, and a dental crown, which is the visible part of the tooth. The dental implant procedure is done in multiple stages, with the entire process taking several months. First, a dental surgeon performs a 3D scan of your jaw to analyse your bone structure and plan the implant placement. Local anaesthesia will be administered before a small incision is made in the gums to prepare the site for implantation. The titanium implant post is inserted into the jaw bone, a healing cap is placed on top, and the gums are sutured to allow for proper wound healing. An important stage in the dental implant procedure is called osseointegration, which involves the implant\’s fusion with the jawbone. This process typically takes 3 to 6 months and ensures the implant is solidly anchored to provide long-term stability for the replacement tooth. Once osseointegration is complete, your dental surgeon will reopen the gums and attach an abutment to the implant post. The abutment serves as a connecting element between the implant and the dental crown. An impression of your teeth will be taken to create a custom dental crown, which will be attached to the abutment in the final stage of the implant procedure.

Dental Bridges Procedure

A dental bridge uses nearby teeth to support an artificial tooth. It is made of porcelain fused with metal, ceramic, or zirconia. First, the abutment teeth are prepared by removing some enamel. Then, an impression is taken and sent to a lab to create a custom bridge. A temporary bridge is used in the meantime. Once ready, the new bridge is fitted and cemented onto the abutment teeth to complete the procedure.

Dental Implant vs. Bridge - Which Is Best For You?

To choose between dental implants and dental bridges, several factors must be considered. The availability of adequate jawbone density, adjacent tooth strength, aesthetics, cost, maintenance, and durability are among the most significant factors.
Dental implants are more expensive but mimic natural teeth better than dental bridges. They require regular dental checkups, cleaning, and maintenance and can last a lifetime. Dental bridges, on the other hand, have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 15 years and may need more frequent replacements. Choosing the right option involves contacting a dental clinic and consulting with an experienced implant dentist like Glenferrie Dental and discussing your oral health, budget, and preferences.
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