Dental Bridges vs. Implants

When it comes to dental restoration, two of the most common options are dental bridges and implants. Dental bridges as the name implies bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. They are typically made up of two or more crowns on either side of the gap for the teeth. On the other hand, a dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace missing teeth.

Choosing between a dental bridge and an implant is no easy feat as it depends on various factors including your oral health, budget, and personal preferences. You should consider factors like longevity and durability, bone health, cost, and procedure before making a choice.

At Bedford Dental Group, we have over 30 years of experience in dental treatments, and understand that choosing the right dental restoration option is essential for your oral health and overall well-being. Whether you’re considering dental implants or dental bridges, our team is here to help you make the best choice for your unique needs. Schedule a free consultation now with our expert cosmetic dentists in Beverly Hills to know the best option for you between dental bridges and dental implants.

In this blog, we will give an in-depth comparison of dental bridges and dental implants, outlining the pros and cons of each. We will also talk about factors to consider when choosing between the two.

Getting a Dental Bridge vs Implant – Which is Better?

Getting a Dental Bridge vs Implant - Which is Better?

Often, patients find themselves at a crossroads and cannot decide between getting a dental bridge or a dental implant. Before picking any option, you need to be conscious of certain factors like cost, application, invasiveness, and impact on oral health. As such, you need to consult with a dental expert who will run an assessment and give the best recommendation for your situation.

One of the clear cost benefits of dental bridges is that they have a lower upfront cost compared to implants. Dental implants range between $500 to $2,000 per tooth, while dental implants are between $1,000 to $3,000 per implant.

Furthermore, dental bridges are non-surgical and less invasive, while dental implants involve invasive surgery. As aforementioned, a dental bridge is a prosthetic device used to replace missing teeth by bridging the gap between two teeth. It consists of one or more false teeth (pontics) that are anchored by dental crowns on the adjacent healthy teeth (abutment teeth). And as dental bridges are a non-surgical solution they can often be completed in just two visits to the dentist. 

On the other hand, dental implants involve surgically placing a titanium post into the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root. Once the implant integrates with the bone, a replacement tooth (dental crown) is attached. In comparison to dental bridges, this process may take several months, especially if bone grafting is required.

Additionally, dental bridges can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease in the abutment teeth. Whilst, dental implants help preserve the jawbone by stimulating bone growth. 

What are Dental Bridges?

What are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge is a prosthetic device used to fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth. The bridge is anchored in place by the surrounding teeth, also known as abutment teeth, and consists of one or more false teeth, known as pontics. These false teeth can be made from various materials, including porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of these.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are several types of dental bridges, each suited for different dental needs. Traditional dental bridges are the most common and consist of one or more pontics, held in place by dental crowns cemented onto the abutment teeth. This type of bridge is suitable when there are natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by the missing tooth.

There are also cantilever dental bridges that are used when there is only one natural tooth adjacent to the gap. Here, the pontic is anchored to only one abutment tooth. We also have Maryland dental bridges, also known as resin-bonded bridges. Maryland bridges use a framework of either metal or porcelain wings bonded to the backs of the adjacent teeth. This type of bridge is a conservative alternative as it requires less alteration of the neighboring teeth.

How Dental Bridges are Installed?

The process of installing a dental bridge starts with an initial consultation. During the first visit to the hospital, the dentist will examine your oral health, discuss your tooth replacement options, and determine if a dental bridge is suitable for you. They will also take impressions of your teeth to create a model for the bridge.

In the next visit, the abutment teeth are prepared. This involves reshaping these teeth by removing a portion of enamel to make room for the dental crowns that will hold the bridge in place.

After the teeth are prepared, the dentist takes another impression of the teeth, which will serve as a model for creating the bridge, pontic(s), and crowns in a dental laboratory. Then, a temporary bridge is placed to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the permanent bridge is being made.

During the final visit, the temporary bridge is removed, and the new permanent bridge is checked and adjusted to fit. The dentist will then cement the bridge into place, ensuring it fits comfortably and functions properly.

What are Dental Implants?

What are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. They are designed to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth, providing a long-lasting and natural-looking replacement. Typically, implants look natural when done well. Dental implants consist of three main components: the implant itself, the abutment, and the crown.

A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root. This post integrates with the bone over time, providing a stable foundation for the replacement tooth. The abutment is a connector that is placed on top of the implant, and the crown is the visible part of the tooth that is attached to the abutment.

Types of Dental Implants?

When getting dental implants, you could get a single-tooth implant, multiple-tooth implant, or all-on-four implants

Single-tooth implants are used to replace a single missing tooth as the implement is placed in the jawbone, and a crown is attached to the abutment. However, multiple tooth implants are used when several teeth are missing.

Furthermore, the all-on-four technique involves placing four implants in the jawbone to support a full arch of replacement teeth. This method provides a stable and efficient solution for those who have lost multiple teeth.

How are Dental Implants Installed?

The process of installing dental implants also starts with an initial consultation. During the initial consultation, the dentist will evaluate your oral health, take X-rays, and create a treatment plan. This is also the time to discuss your tooth replacement options and determine if dental implants are suitable for you.

If there is significant bone loss, bone grafting may be required to build up the jawbone. This process ensures there is enough bone density to support the implant. Then, it is time to place the implant. During this step, the dental professional surgically places the titanium post into the jawbone. This involves making an incision in the gum to expose the bone, drilling a hole, and inserting the implant. The gum is then stitched back over the implant.

Over the next few months, the implant will integrate with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This creates a solid foundation for the replacement tooth. Once the implant has fully integrated with the bone, a second minor surgery is performed to attach the abutment. The gum tissue is opened to expose the implant, and the abutment is secured in place.

After the gums have healed around the abutment, the final step is to place the custom-made crown. The crown is attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant process and restoring the function and appearance of the missing tooth.

Dental Bridge vs Implant: Cost Comparison

Dental Bridge vs Implant: Cost Comparison

Dental bridges generally have a lower upfront cost compared to dental implants. The cost typically ranges from $500 to $2,000 per tooth. Many dental insurance plans cover a significant portion of the cost of dental bridges.

On the other hand, dental implants tend to have a higher upfront cost, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per implant. When you include the abutment and crown, the total cost can be between $3,000 to $6,000 per tooth. Coverage for dental implants varies and may be limited, although more insurance companies are starting to offer partial coverage.

Factors Influencing the Cost of Dental Bridges and Implants

Some of the immediate factors that affect the cost of both dental bridges and dental implants include materials, procedure complexity, and additional procedures. Typically, dental bridges do not require additional procedures beyond fitting the bridge. However, dental implants may require bone grafting if there is insufficient bone density.  Typically, dental bridges are made from porcelain and ceramics while implants are made from titanium, zirconia, resin, etc. Dental bridges made of zirconia tend to be more durable and last longer, while an implant post made of titanium is highly durable and biocompatible.

When it comes to long-term costs, maintenance and replacements are also factors to consider. Dental bridges may require periodic adjustments or replacements every 5-15 years, while dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care.  

Dental Bridge vs Implant: Durability and Longevity

Dental Bridge vs Implant: Durability and Longevity

Dental bridges typically last between 5 to 15 years. The lifespan can be influenced by factors such as oral hygiene, the materials used, and the health of the adjacent teeth. On the other hand, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care. However, the crown on the implant may need replacement after 15-20 years due to wear. 

To maintain the longevity of your dental bridges and dental implants, you should go for regular dental check-ups and have good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. These help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental Bridge vs Implant: Pros and Cons

While dental bridges and dental implants are both fantastic dental restorative procedures, they also have several cons to them. Therefore, you have to weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision.

Dental bridges are generally more affordable initially than dental implants and require only two visits and no invasive surgery. This procedure is ideal for patients who are missing one or more teeth, have healthy adjacent teeth to support the bridge, prefer a non-surgical solution, or are looking for a quicker and initially less expensive option. On the flip side, dental bridges affect adjacent teeth, leading to decay and gum disease. 

Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and help maintain jawbone density while preventing bone loss. They mimic natural teeth in appearance and function. This procedure is ideal for people who have one or more missing teeth, sufficient bone density, can undergo bone grafting, prefer a long-term solution, or are in good general and oral health to undergo surgery. Unfortunately, this procedure requires higher upfront costs and sufficient bone density to begin with. It is also an invasive procedure. 

Dental Bridge vs Implant: Aesthetic and Functional Considerations

Aesthetically, dental bridges offer a natural look, especially if made from porcelain that matches the surrounding teeth. However, they may not prevent bone loss, which can affect facial structure over time by causing wrinkles, a collapsed mouth and cheeks. In terms of functionality, this procedure can also restore chewing and speech functions but does not address underlying bone loss. In addition, dental bridges may require frequent replacements and maintenance. 

On the other hand, dental implants provide a natural-looking appearance as they are designed to mimic the natural tooth structure aesthetically. For functionality, they also help maintain jawbone health to preserve facial aesthetics. A dental implant offers higher patient satisfaction due to its stability and long-term benefits. 

How Long Should you wait Before getting Implants or Dental Bridges?

How Long Should you wait Before getting Implants or Dental Bridges?

After tooth removal, dental bridges can be placed as soon as the extraction site has healed. You can expect to regain functionality quickly, as the procedure usually requires only two visits. Typically, the bridge will blend with your natural teeth to restore your smile. However, you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity in the treated area. It usually subsides within a few days. 

While immediate placement is possible in some cases for dental implants, it is often recommended to wait 3-6 months post-extraction to allow the bone to heal properly. If bone grafting is required, this period may extend to 6-9 months. If an immediate load implant is placed, you can have a temporary crown the same day. Otherwise, the permanent crown is placed after the implant has integrated with the bone. However, expect some swelling and discomfort after surgery. It would typically improve within a week as you can see in our before and after results. 

Choosing the Right Dentist

Whether you are considering dental bridges or implants, understanding the key differences and consulting with a knowledgeable dental professional will help you make the best decision for your oral health. 

Choosing the right tooth replacement option involves careful consideration of various factors like cost, procedure complexity, oral health, personal preferences, etc. Consulting with a dental professional is essential to make an informed decision that best suits your needs and circumstances. 

At Bedford Dental Group, our expert Beverly Hill cosmetic dentists like Dr. Naysan are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal oral health and a beautiful smile. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your dental restoration options with us.

bhdentist logo

Mon: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Tue: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Wed: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thu: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Fri: 8:00am – 5:00pm
After Hours & Weekend Emergencies.

BDG Yearly Insurance Plan

BDG Yearly No Insurance
BDG Yearly No Insurance Mobile