Losing teeth can have an adverse effect on your appearance and self-confidence, and worst of all, it creates functionality issues with the remaining teeth. Not so long ago, the only replacement option was a dental bridge, which involves preparing the teeth around the gap to facilitate a bridge. Today, there are many more available options, and a common treatment option is a dental implant. Implants involve the replacement of the lost tooth separately and are generally preferred because they are stronger and more durable. Although both approaches address the same challenges, they are technically different and yield different results. It's important to understand both methods to determine which works best for you.
Implants and bridges have prerequisites that must be met before the procedures are undertaken. Your eligibility for either method is determined by your dentist in the initial consultation. Implants are performed on persons whose bone development is complete and is past adolescence. Dental bridges, on the other hand, largely depends on the health of the supporting teeth. Your candidature will best be determined by your dentist and your preference for the aspects below:
- Aesthetics Aesthetically, it could go either way, but most prefer the implant as the enamel can be ground to match your natural teeth. Because they are 'standalone' nature, implants feel more like your natural teeth and more comfortable. Bridges have also evolved and are harder to tell apart.
- Durability Implants are, without a doubt, the more durable option as they are designed to last a lifetime. Conversely, bridges last for approximately a decade, and there is a risk of decay and gum disease on the supporting teeth. Implants, on the other hand, are resistant to decay and gum disease as the root is made from titanium fused with the jawbone.
- Cost While the bridge costs significantly less than the implant, it's worth noting that it will need replacement, maybe once or twice, which may not be required for an implant. A single tooth implant replacement can cost a few thousand dollars, and it's not unusual for dentists to recommend a dental bridge for the treatment of more than one tooth. Bridges are a cost-effective treatment because the procedure is normally simple and relatively fast.
What works for you may not work for another as patients' needs vary. The right procedure heavily depends entirely on your dental health and structure. On what approach you should opt for, that will require consultation with your dentist as they have the necessary knowledge and tools to know what's best for you. Look for a dentist near you.