Comparing Bridges and Dental Implants
Which is the best option for replacing your missing tooth?
If you are missing a tooth, you may be wondering what your best option is for replacing it. Should you get a fixed bridge, or opt for a dental implant? Here is some important information about each option to help you decide.
Both dental implants and bridges can be made using porcelain for an extremely natural look. However, dental implants do provide the best appearance, because there is never any gap between the replacement tooth and the gums. A bridge, however, anchors on two neighboring teeth to suspend a false tooth called a pontic in the space left by the missing tooth. Over time, the gum may recede leaving an unsightly gap.
One of the biggest problems with bridges is that food and bacteria can get trapped between the pontic and the gum line. This is not only uncomfortable but also unsanitary. Dental implants function just like an ordinary tooth, so they are very comfortable.
When it comes to supporting your oral health, no other prosthetic can match the benefits of a dental implant. Dental implants are porcelain crowns that rest on a titanium peg surgically implanted in your jaw. Over time, the bone actually bonds with the titanium, creating a stable foundation but also preventing bone loss in the jaw. Because a bridge does not replace the root of the tooth, it leaves you vulnerable to bone loss. Bridges are also problematic because placing a fixed bridge requires removing some healthy tooth structure on the supporting teeth. These teeth then become vulnerable to cavities and decay, especially if the pontic is not kept clean.
If immediate cost is the driving factor in your decision of how to replace your missing tooth, you will most likely want to choose a bridge. The average cost for a fixed bridge is about $700 to $1500. A dental implant, on the other hand, may cost $3000 to $4500 or even more if your case is complicated. However, bear in mind that fixed bridges tend to need replacement sooner than dental implants, which may last for decades. Bridges can also cause problems with neighboring teeth, which of course will incur further expenses. One final consideration will be that while many insurance plans will cover at least some portion of your bridge, coverage for dental implants is very rare.
Want Professional Advice?
Unfortunately, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. In this case, your decision may be made for you. For a professional opinion as to your best solution to replacing missing teeth, please contact California Dental Group to set up an appointment with one of our expert dentists.