Dental Bridge vs Implant: who wins?
There’s a wide range of methods to replace a lost tooth, but dental industry offers two most convenient and therefore most popular technologies to make your smile shine. You’ve definitely heard about dental bridges or implants. And that’s undoubtedly a decision you have to make in this situation. So, let’s speak a bit about pros and cons of each option.
One of the main points to consider when deciding between dental implant or bridge - is how good are your other teeth. If they’re problematic as well, then it’s probably better to go for an implant as they’re famous for protecting other teeth from breaking or losing their strength. The concept of a bridge is to use your natural teeth as a support unit for a new one. It’s applying additional pressure on your teeth, so this strategy might be a bit risky when you’re aware that your overall teeth quality isn’t that great.
Another important thing to know when debating the use of a dental bridge vs implant is that the first ones can provide you with a very stable and comfortable period of use: they’ll need a bit of time to settle but after that you can effortlessly chew solid food (you might even try steaks, which won’t be possible with implants) and not feel uncomfortable at all. Some people tend to underestimate how strong a dental bridge is but it’s a mistake that often leads to pleasant surprises when they find out that they don’t really need to change their food habits even after losing a tooth. Please notice though that everything said above applies to the instances where one’s jaw bone is healthy and, as we said previously, the other teeth are strong enough. They’re also less pricey than implants, which might be very important.
Implants on the other hand also come with major advantages. The biggest example is its reliability even in the hardest situations: your doctor will manage to replace not just one tooth but several broken teeth or even a denture. Implants also need little to none maintenance, once you got them you can be pretty much sure that it will last the lifetime provided there won’t be any emergency cases. The bridges should be changed every 15 years in order to keep them in good condition. Implants look really attractive and natural in most cases which can definitely be seen as a huge advantage in one’s eyes.
Materials are another important point to discover while choosing the best out of dental bridges as well as implants. As a rule, the most widely spread dental bridge materials are gold, zirconia and porcelain. While gold is in most cases the cheapest option, it does look unnatural and isn’t preferred today, even though it is fully biocompatible with your body and is guaranteed to not cause any troubles. Undoubtedly, porcelain material is the most popular choice as it looks really good and can match the color of your teeth whatever it is but it’s more susceptible to damage than the other bridge types. Zirconia, in turn, is made from metal which makes it very hard to damage and looks like ceramic offering the great appearance. It’s a bit more expensive than the other discussed materials though.
Traditionally implant technology involves titanium and zirconia. Titanium implants were first used in early 1950s and are basically the go-to implant ever since. The price is affordable and they have a cool feature that allows the bone to grow next to the implant if it’s placed in contact with the bone that isn’t disturbed. That creates a permanent affinity and makes your teeth stronger. Zirconia was discovered much later, in the 90s, so they’re still relatively new. It’s not easy to compete against titanium but zirconia implants are steadily growing in popularity thanks to their damage sustainability and great appearance.
Let’s sum it up a little bit: if you’re only choosing by appearance, then a porcelain bridge or a zirconia implant would be a way to go. If you’re dealing with a tight budget, take a good look at dental bridges: they might be way cheaper than implants and, in some cases, not much more uncomfortable. If you don’t like the sound of needing to change the dental bridges every 10 or 15 years and want to get a new tooth that will last a lifetime, then implants are definitely your best choice. All in all, both types have their own pros and cons and it’d be unfair to choose just one winner. For every situation there’s a different solution, and we’ve tried to give you enough information on those situations and solutions.
Hopefully the information that we provided will help you decide whether you go for a dental bridge or an implant. Make sure you make the right choice and enjoy your new teeth! And definitely don’t hesitate to get a consultation from your dentist if you’re not sure you’re able to make the right call yourself.