Dental Implant vs Bridge: Which Is Better?

Benefits and Drawbacks

Tooth loss among adults is a very common issue in the US. At least 69% of those aged 35 to 44 have at least one tooth lost; 25% of people by age 74 have their entire dentition gone. Teeth replacement had become quite commonplace as well. Dentists and their patients tend to choose between two popular options. Which is better – bridges or implants?

Dental bridges and dental implants both address the problem of missing teeth. Bridges, usually of porcelain or plastic false teeth, are held in the place of the missing natural teeth by attaching them to the surrounding natural teeth for support. On the other hand, dental implants, which are artificial roots, are surgically implanted into the missing space or spaces by screwing or mounting them into the jawbone. They protrude through the gum on which an artificial tooth or teeth is/are secured.

Bridges and implants each have their set of advantages and disadvantages.

The Advantages of Bridges: cost less than implants, do not require surgery or bone grafting and so do not need anesthesia, require at least only two dental visits in a span of a couple of weeks, and are likely covered by insurance.

The Disadvantages of Bridges: can lose its natural look with age, need replacement every 5 to seven years, sometimes ten years with stringent care, can do damage to the neighboring natural teeth to which it is attached, and, more prone to cavities and tooth decay.

The Advantages of Implants: long-lasting to up to 15 years or sometimes a lifetime, retain its natural look over time, do no damage to any of the natural teeth around, and, a high success rate of 97%.

The Disadvantages of Implants: require invasive surgery and anesthesia, surgical complications do happen though not common, may take several dentist visits spanning over 3 to 6 months (due to the healing and integration processes), cost more than bridges and are less likely covered by insurance.

Comparing the cost between bridges and implants will depend upon certain factors. For example, it will cost more to replace multiple missing teeth; hence, more expensive for multiple implants. Another is materials used; titanium implants are high-strength and high-end and so cost more than zirconium. For bridges, zirconia, all-ceramic, or porcelain-fused-to-metal cost more than metal. Where you live also affects the cost; generally, dental practices in metro key cities charge more than those in rural areas.


Knowing Your Best Option in Federal Way

Let us help you determine which option is the best for you. When you come see us, your Federal Way dentists, let’s sit down and talk about bridges and implants.