Both designed to replace a missing tooth. A dental implant is a titanium screw placed in the bone (replacing the root) that comes with a crown (a false tooth that matches the rest of your teeth in shape and color). A bridge is a false tooth suspended between two crowns that dentist cements onto prepared natural teeth. The pillar teeth need to be grinded in a specific shape in order to insert the bridge.
Dental bridges used to be an absolute modern solution in the previous decades but nowadays implants proved to have more advantages:
- Esthetic advantage. An implant in the front area of your mouth will look more natural. That is ok to
have bridges towards the back of the mouth, as it won’t be visible.
- Jaw bone stimulation. When a tooth falls out, the jaw bone shrinks and over time the face
appearance and smile change as the gum follows the bone (creating a bone and gum defect).The
implant is replacing the root , so it has the same function as a root: to stimulate the jaw bone and
helps preventing the shrinking .
- Durability: Implants are more durable than bridges, once osseointegrated the titanium implants will
last a life time. Porcelain on the bridges and implant crowns is getting fatigued with time and needs
replacement (as long as the pillar teeth are in good condition).
- Cost involved: Implant may be seen more expensive comparing to bridges, but considering that
bridges have to be changed after 10-15 years, their cost becomes higher. It is financially convenient
to have a bridge placed if you are not looking further that 5 to 7 years. Long term perspective,
implants are more cost effective.
- Time consuming: Bridges are placed in 2-3 visits to the dentist (done in less than 7 days). Implant
and implant crown placement takes 2-3 visits ( procedure done in 3 days up to 2 months).
- Maintenance: Both need regular (every 6 months) cleaning, check up and x-ray.