Wondering about the difference between a bridge vs. implant? It’s easy to get these two common dental procedures confused, since they’re often presented as solutions to the same types of problems.
There are a number of key differences to keep in mind when comparing a bridge vs. implant, particularly when it comes to deciding which is the better choice for your needs and your budget. To help you out, we’ve put together a quick overview of each so that you can more easily see what sets them apart.
A dental bridge is a custom-made replacement of a singular tooth or multiple teeth that attaches to surrounding healthy teeth. They’ve been around in their modern form since the 1800s, though lots of progress has since been made in terms of appearance and durability.
When bridges are used: Dental bridges are a common and cost-effective solution for those who are missing a tooth or teeth. That’s due to one of the biggest differences between a bridge vs. implant, which is that a bridge isn’t permanently built into the structure of the mouth, making it a quick fix that can be easily adapted over time.
Process of installation: The first step is recontouring the teeth on either side of where the bridge will be placed to get them ready for crowns. Then a mold will be made and a temporary bridge provided before the next visit, which is when the crowns and final bridge will be put into place.
Dental implants are another popular choice for resolving issues of missing teeth, and have been in use since the mid-1960s. While they’re more invasive than bridges, they are anchored into the mouth for a more permanent fix and are better at addressing gum and bone loss.
When implants are used: Dental implants include an artificial root that is affixed into the jaw and are sometimes used as a replacement themselves or to anchor a tooth for a bridge. They’re often used in periodontal patients, since they help resolve underlying bone issues and can prevent further degradation.
Process of installation: This is a multi-step surgery requiring bone grafting and implant placement. The process can take several months from start to finish, since healing is required after each step.
This depends on your specific situation, including the extent of your loss. A standard missing tooth or teeth can be addressed quicker and more cheaply with a bridge, but an implant is likely necessary if there is gum or bone recession, or if you are in need of a permanent and more complete fix. Work with your dentist to decide what your best option is based on your current issue and long-term needs, keeping in mind that an implant is usually the way to go for long-lasting stability.
In need of a consultation? Schedule an appointment with our implant specialist Dr. Francine Misch-Dietsh to discuss the differences between bridges and implants in more detail and to find out what your best solution is. Dr. Misch-Dietsh and our team can walk you through every step of the process, including the cost of dental implants and how they compare to bridges.
We offer two locations for dental bridges and dental implants—Coral Gables, FL and Miami—and new patients are always accepted, so get in touch today.