Dental Implant vs Bridge: Know Your Options

Team Dental Bridge, Dental Implants

If you’ve decided you’re ready to replace missing teeth, you’re making a good decision for your overall health. Missing teeth are responsible for countless unnecessary infections, reduced self-confidence, and can lead to myriad problems with your other teeth and your gums. If you’re missing one or more teeth, you likely have three options available. These include dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. Read on to learn about the difference between dental implants and bridges.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges replace single teeth or multiple consecutive teeth. Dental bridges will use the teeth adjacent to the gaps as anchors. In some cases, your natural teeth will be able to serve as the anchors. In other cases, you’ll need crowns to securely anchor a dental bridge in place. The primary benefit of a dental bridge is that they are frequently more affordable than dental implants in the short term. However, over time, due to their need to be replaced, and susceptibility to decay, or other problems, costs can add up.

 The second benefit of dental bridges is the length of treatment to complete.  Dental bridge treatment is often completed much quicker than dental implants. However, dental bridges can’t compete with dental implants in terms of function, durability, and gum and bone health.

Dental Implants

There is a reason that dentists recommend dental implants over bridges, wherever possible. Dental implants provide incredible benefits that you won’t experience if you opt for dentures or a dental bridge. 

Dental implants are designed to mimic the function of your tooth both above and below your gum line. What happens below your gum line is vital to long-term oral health, and frankly, more important than what happens above the gum line. 

Dental implants use titanium screws that mimic the function of your natural tooth root. In addition to holding the tooth in place, tooth roots help support bone structure in your jaw. Without a tooth root, the jaw bone begins to disintegrate, resulting in a sunken appearance.  The titanium screws used in dental implants replace your natural tooth root so the jaw bone remains intact. In fact, the titanium screws can actually promote bone growth through a process known as osseointegration. Osseointegration reinforces your jaw bone, which helps to prevent adjacent teeth from becoming loose, or shifting positions.

A second reason that dental implants are preferred by dentists over dental bridges lies in their durability. Dental implants can last your entire lifetime. By contrast, most dental bridges last 10-15 years before they will need to be replaced.  

A third reason that dental implants are considered the gold standard in tooth replacement is that they allow the patient to practice better, more natural oral hygiene. Implanted teeth can and should be brushed and flossed exactly the same way as natural teeth. By contrast, bridges are anchored to adjacent teeth preventing normal brushing and flossing. This can make them more susceptible to tooth decay, requiring root canals, or future treatment for gum disease.  

Dental Implants in Albuquerque

If you’re ready to be proud of your smile again, schedule a consultation with Rio Grande Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center today.  A diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Drew Steel is Board-Certified in the full spectrum of oral surgery. In addition to providing dental implants in Albuquerque, Dr. Steel also provides wisdom tooth extraction, bone grafting, treatment for facial trauma, oral pathology, and full arch restoration. To determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants, contact us today by calling 505-821-2111 , or feel free to request an appointment online.