q How to Decide Between a Dental Implant and a Bridge - Harcourt Health

How to Decide Between a Dental Implant and a Bridge

Even a small gap in your smile can have a big impact on the way you use your teeth and how you feel about your smile. The good news is that there are several ways that your dentist can use to replace your missing teeth. Two of the best options are dental implants and dental bridges. But how do you choose the right option for your situation? Well, here is a simple guide that you can always refer to before making the final decision.

Structural Differences

First things first, to ensure that we are on the same page in this dental implants vs bridge contest, you need to understand how either option work:

Dental bridges are often designed to bridge the gap that’s left by a missing tooth. A dental framework is attached to the teeth on either side of the gap via a crown placed over the top of the two teeth. A false tooth or pontic is then attached to the framework to fill the gap.

On the other hand, a dental implant work by implanting a metal post into your jaw bone. The metal post is usually made of titanium because of its biocompatibility features. The jaw bone must be drilled via the gum to insert the implant post. A prosthetic tooth (which often takes the form of a porcelain crown) is finally attached to the implant post.  

Making a choice between Dental Implant and a Bridge

Whether you should opt for a dental implant or a bridge should be dictated by three main factors:

  • Location Of The Missing Tooth

If you are going to replace a tooth located at the back of your mouth using a dental bridge, you’ll be doing a good thing because the bridge won’t be visible when you smile. However, if you want to replace a tooth in front of your mouth using a bridge, the result may not look natural. Opt for dental implants if you are looking for a natural and attractive smile that will appear as if it has always been there.

  • Your Health Goals

Dental implants can help protect your jaw bones from deteriorating. When your teeth are extracted or fall out, the jaw bone shrinks, which ultimately changes your smile and overall appearance.  When an implant is attached on your jaw bone and you constantly use the tooth to chew and bite, the bone is stimulated, preventing it from shrinking. On the contrary, a pontic in a dental bridge does not contact the jaw bone, so you are likely to experience bone loss over time.

  • Budget And Time Considerations

When choosing between a dental implant and a bridge, you need to factor your budget and the amount of time that you have. A dental bridge can be fixed in two visits to a dentist within a few weeks. However, the waiting time for a dental implant is longer—it can take between 3-6 months for your jaw bone to grow around the implant post. Generally, dental bridges are cheaper than dental implants hence better for your budget.

Hopefully, you now have an idea of the best dental treatment option to pursue. To make the best final decision, consider going through the features of each option and ask your dentist for a guide and recommendation.