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Dental Implants vs Bridges—Which Is the Better Choice?

smiling young man

If you have missing teeth, you may hesitate to smile, and you may experience a loss of confidence. Chewing also becomes a challenge. Fortunately, with dental implants and bridges, we can effectively address tooth loss and restore your smile beautifully. Let’s look at each option:

Bridging the Gap

The bridge is a way of replacing a missing tooth by putting a crown restoration on the adjacent teeth. With this type of restoration, you have two teeth, with a missing tooth in the middle, and the two teeth hold the bridge up. Bridges are cemented and are permanent. They function just like your normal tooth, but it does require preparation of the two teeth to hold the bridge.

Who is an ideal candidate?

If you have insufficient bone and want an implant, it will take a lot of pre-preparation, in the form of a bone graft and surgeries, to try to get the bone in condition to hold an implant. So, in this case, a bridge is a good option.

What to Expect

A bridge can be done within about two weeks. The patient’s teeth are prepared for the bridge during the first appointment. We take the mold or the scan and then put a temporary bridge on there. Within two weeks, we can have the permanent bridge back and ready and cement it.

Durable & Long-Lasting Implants

These days the majority of missing teeth are replaced with implants. A primary advantage of a dental implant is you can replace the missing tooth without having to touch the adjacent teeth. It doesn’t affect the two teeth on the side of the missing tooth. So you can replace the missing tooth and not have to drill on the other teeth.

You can also use an implant to replace the tooth further back when no natural tooth holds the other end of the bridge. For example, if you’re missing all of your teeth in the back, there’s no way to put a bridge in there. You must have a tooth in the back and a tooth in front of the missing tooth.

These are some reasons we believe dental implants are a superior restoration option.

What to Expect

With the implant, it takes more time because you must first prepare the site for the missing tooth if a tooth is extracted. You have to let the site of the bone grow and mature. Then, after a few months, you can put the implant in when the bone is ready. And then you have to wait a few more months for the bone to heal to integrate around the implant. Lastly, you can finish it off with a crown or bridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does each process take?

Getting an implant can take anywhere from three to six months before you can have a tooth there. Whereas the bridge can be done within about two weeks.

How long do they last?

If well taken care of, they can both last a long time. A major drawback of having a bridge is that because it’s sitting on natural teeth, they can get decay underneath them. So the bridge may have to be replaced if there’s decay.

The implant, however, won’t decay, as it’s made of titanium and porcelain. Although decay can’t develop, an implant still needs to be cared for because the gum tissue around it has to be kept clean.

Can you see the difference between an implant and a bridge?

The implant is like having your own individual tooth back. You can floss between all the teeth and brush your teeth. The bridge is actually three teeth that are connected together. They look like separate teeth. However, you can’t floss between them because they’re all connected.

Reclaim Your Smile

Take that first step toward achieving a natural-looking confident smile with our restoration options. Call today to book an appointment with Dr. Yang!

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