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What Is A Dental Implant vs. Bridge?

For adults missing one or more teeth, there are several replacement alternatives. Many people are beginning to shy away from the conventional, removable dentures of the past, electing instead to go with more permanent forms of tooth replacement. Two of the most common modern methods of tooth replacement are bridges and dental implants. While the general public often uses these two terms in place of one another, they actually have entirely different meanings in the world of dentistry. Below, we will differentiate a dental implant vs. bridge in order to determine which tooth replacement option suits your scenario best.



What Is A Dental Implant?


A dental implant is a small, screw-shaped post that is inserted into the jawbone in order to serve as an artificial root, replacing the root of the natural tooth. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place, while promoting the normal function of the nerves, muscles, and joints in the jaw. It is made of titanium metal, which allows it to fuse to the bone, maintaining the long-term density and dimension of the jawbone, which can deteriorate with the use of traditional dentures or when left untreated.

Once the dental implant is successfully inserted into the jaw, replacement teeth can be placed into the implants. These teeth look and feel like natural teeth, allowing patients to feel as if they are a fully integrated part of their bodies. Dental Implants can be used to replace single teeth or multiple teeth. The innovative all on four procedure enables well-placed dental implants to support a full set of teeth, which can help minimize costs and recovery time.



What Is A Bridge?


A Bridge, also called a fixed bridge or fixed dental prosthesis, is a dental restoration technique that replaces one or more missing teeth. It is typically made up of an artificial tooth fused between two crowns. It extends across the area that has no teeth and is a permanent fixture that cannot be removed. A crown is a hollow, artificial tooth that fits over a natural tooth and helps hold the bridge firmly in place on each side of the missing teeth. Bridges are expected to last on average seven to ten years.



What Is The Difference?


The differences between a dental implant vs. bridge can be hard to identify. Dental Implants are generally more durable than bridges. Implants are made of titanium and fuse to the jawbone, providing additional strength and stability to your jaw. Since implants are made of titanium, they are also very resistant to decay and gum problems. Another an important difference as an implant does NOT depend on any other teeth, while a bridge is dependent on the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth space, and therefore places much more force and pressure on those adjacent teeth. While a bridge is only expected to last about 10 years, a dental implant can last a lifetime with proper care. Dental implants have a high success rate and have proved to last up to ten years approximately 98% of the time. So, while the initial cost of a dental implant may be higher, choosing a bridge may cost you more in the long run, as it will need to be replaced in the future. In terms of aesthetics, generally speaking, a dental implant will yield a more pleasing result.