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
Pros Of Dental Implants
- 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%.
Cons Of Dental Implants
- 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.
Cons Of Dental Bridge
- 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.