Dental implants are generally more resistant than bridges, providing better protection over time. The metal screw portion of an implant is mostly made of titanium which fuses with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. Because they are made of such a strong metal, they are very resistant to decay and gum problems and can regularly last a lifetime. The average life of a dental bridge, on the other hand, is about 10 years. Since part of your original tooth remains beneath it, normal wear and tear may cause a bridge to fail more often than implants. Furthermore, your remaining tooth structure continues to be susceptible to decay and gum disease.
What about aesthetics? There isn’t always a simple answer, but your dentist will be able to advise you. Often an implant will provide the most visually pleasing result, as your dentist can make the final tooth look just like your natural enamel. Sometimes, an implant can be placed immediately after a tooth extraction, preserving the natural level of bone and improving the final appearance of the dental work.
While the upfront cost of a dental bridge is less, it may need to be replaced at some point in the future. Implants may seem more expensive at first, but over time can be more cost-effective. Nowadays, most dental insurance companies will pay a portion for most of the steps involved. Also, implant treatment can be more flexible over time, allowing patients to budget the cost in increments. After extraction, for example, a bone graft is sometimes needed. This graft typically has to heal for several months before implant placement, at which point osseointegration can take anywhere from three to six months before the process is complete.
So, dental bridge vs. implant? Make this decision after consulting with your Dr. Wells. He knows your mouth best and has the tools and background to guide you through what’s best. Although bridges are a more traditional procedure, dental implants have become more mainstream over the years, and in most cases are the preferred treatment in time and expense.
Contact Nashville Aesthetic Dentistry – Dennis J. Wells, DDS – Dr. Dennis Wells. Make an appointment to discuss a treatment plan that is right for you.