Dental Implants vs. Bridges: Here's What to Consider

 Dental Implants vs. Bridges: Here's What to Consider

You’ve lost a tooth or a couple of teeth, and you need to decide how to replace these teeth so that you can continue to chew, talk, and smile confidently. You’re not alone — about 178 million people in the United States are missing at least one of their teeth and face this same decision.

The two best replacement options for a missing tooth are a dental implant or a dental bridge. To help you make the best decision for your needs, the team here at Peninsula Dental Excellence, led by Drs. Colin Au and Jeff Yoshihara, presents the following points to consider.

Function    

Your natural teeth are designed to provide you with the strength and stability you need to chew, and you want to replicate that with your replacement tooth. While a dental bridge and a dental implant excel in these areas, some differences exist.

When we use a dental implant, we’re creating a new “root” (a metal post) that goes into your jawbone, where it’s fused into place over time. We then cap this implant with a dental crown.

With a dental bridge, we simply attach a prosthetic tooth to your neighboring teeth, which isn’t anchored into your jawbone.

In this regard, a dental implant does provide more stability and strength because it’s fused into your bone. This fusion can also prevent further bone loss, which works well to stabilize neighboring teeth.

That said, with dental implants and dental bridges, the crowns we use are the same — they’re both made from tough porcelain and ceramic materials that stand up well to chewing.

Implant Vs. Bridge  

One of the benefits of a dental bridge over an implant crown is the amount of time involved. When we create a bridge, we can do so in two visits. During the first visit, we take impressions for your replacement tooth and the crowns to either side of the missing tooth. When the bridge comes back from the lab we then bond this at your second appointment.

With a dental implant, we need to perform surgery to implant the post. Depending on how much bone structure, we can then go ahead and place the crown. In some instances, you may need to build up your jaw bone with a procedure called a bone graft, where they add bone to the jaw. This may add some time as the new bone needs to fuse to your existing bone.

There are some points to consider when deciding between a dental bridge and a dental implant based on budget.  

A dental implant may cost more initially, but this replacement option tends to last considerably longer than a dental bridge. In other words, you may spend more money and time in our chair with a dental implant than with a dental bridge. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours, and we’re happy to help you choose the best option for your unique circumstances and goals.

If you’d like help choosing between a dental implant or a dental bridge, please contact our office in Mountain View, California, to figure out which solution is best for you.

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