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Dental Implants Vs. Bridge: Which Is Right for You?

27 Jul 2022

When you lose a tooth, filling the gap is important. Having a space in your teeth can be a confidence killer, but more than that, there are associated oral health concerns.

Harmful bacteria often hide in gaps, damaging the neighbouring teeth and potentially causing gum disease. Without the missing tooth to stop them, the rest of the teeth on that arch may gradually start sliding about. This leads to a gappy smile and misaligned teeth.

Fortunately, there are some very good options for replacing missing teeth. The most popular choices are prosthetics either held in place by bridges or implants. But which option is right for you?

Let’s look at the difference between bridges and implants and discuss the benefits of each. 

What Are Dental Bridges?

Bridges are dental prosthetics that use the teeth on either side of a gap to support a pontic. A pontic is a replacement tooth that’s made to look exactly like your own natural teeth.

There are a few different types of bridges, but the most common have crowns placed on the tops of the neighbouring teeth. The pontic is cemented to these crowns.  

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small titanium posts that replace the root of a missing tooth. The implants bed down into your jaw where they will gradually fuse with the bone through a process called osseointegration. Once in place, dental implants will support a life-like crown. 

The Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges restore lost confidence by completing your smile. It’s very difficult for anyone to tell that you’ve got a bridge, and your replacement tooth will be indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth.

Bridges help you chew and enjoy food confidently and provide stability to your bite.

When comparing dental implants vs. bridges, this option typically costs less, the placement procedure is simpler, and there’s a shorter healing time. 

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Just like bridges, dental implants support crowns that look just like your natural teeth. The fantastic appearance of these replacement teeth will go a long way in making you feel less self-conscious. 

Because dental implants bond with your jaw, they provide unparalleled rigidity. Nothing will be off the menu when you’ve got implants as your replacement teeth will feel just like the real thing.

Unlike dental bridges, implants last a lifetime. The hard-wearing titanium won’t break down, and as long as you maintain good standards of oral hygiene, your implant will never fail. Eventually, you may need to replace the crown, but this procedure will be very straightforward.

The loss of a tooth can cause damage to the underlying jawbone. Over time, without a root to support, the vacant area of the jaw will deteriorate, causing your facial structures to sag and making you appear older than you are.

Implants prevent this bone resorption. Once in place, the implants will help keep the bone healthy. 

Dental Bridge Placement 

The exact process for placing a dental bridge will depend on the type. If you still have the tooth we’ll be replacing, we’ll start by completely removing this. Next, we’ll prepare the neighbouring teeth. Before a crown can be placed, we’ll need to remove part of the tooth. 

We’ll always take digital impressions of your teeth so we can create the perfect bespoke crowns and pontics. 

Once our skilled laboratory technicians have finished making your bridge, we can fix the crowns and pontics in place. We’ll cement the crown to your natural tooth to ensure the best possible bond. The pontics are affixed directly to the crowns.

Dental Implant Placement

We’ll place dental implants in several stages over a few months. Because the implant needs to bind to the bone, we’ll need to wait for your jaw to recover after each step. 

We’ll start by assessing the strength and density of your jaw. We need to ensure that there’s enough bone volume to hold the implants and withstand the pressure of your bite. In instances where there isn’t sufficient density, we may suggest a bone graft or sinus lift procedure to help restore the area that will receive the implant. 

Assuming we can start the implant surgery without rebuilding your jaw, we’ll give you anaesthetic to numb the placement site. 

We’ll start by making a small incision in your gum to gain access to the jaw below. The next step is to create a small hole in the jaw for the implant.

Once the jawbone is ready, we’ll place the implant. It can take several months for osseointegration to occur. Until this happens, we’ll give you a functional and attractive temporary restoration. 

We’ll place your made-to-measure crown once we’re happy with your jaw’s stability. 

Caring for Your Dental Bridge

Although your dental bridge is made from porcelain and metal, you’ll still need to keep it clean. Bacteria around your bridge can lead to tooth decay elsewhere in your mouth and cause gum disease. 

Thoroughly brush your teeth twice daily. Food debris can get trapped under the pontic. Flossing. using interdental brushes, and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash will help. 

Caring for Dental Implants

Your dental implants will withstand everything life has to throw at them. Because they are titanium, they won’t break down. It’s still important to keep your teeth clean, including your crown. 

A building up of bad bacteria could cause severe gum disease. If this happens, your jaw and gums may be harmed, affecting your implant’s support. 

Keeping your teeth clean and visiting us twice a year for a checkup will ensure we keep on top of your oral health and prevent the failure of your implant. 

Dental Implants Vs. Bridges: Which Is Right for You?

Both dental implants and bridges let you reclaim your smile and let you eat again. Dental implants provide greater stability, last longer, and give the best support for chewing; however, bridges generally cost less and are easier to place. 

To help you decide which option best suits you, call Love Teeth’s Cheam, Chessignton, Stonecot, or Sutton clinics and arrange an appointment with our team today. 


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