Dental Implant vs. Bridge: Belleville Dentist Shares Differences
Dental implants and bridges are the two most common treatments recommended for replacing a single missing tooth. Each treatment has it’s own unique pros and cons, making it important to consider all possible information before making a decision.
Dental Implants: The Standard of Care
A dental implant is considered the “standard of care” for replacing a missing tooth, meaning it is accepted as the best treatment one can receive, all else being equal. An implant consists of a metal post that is inserted into the bone and a crown that is attached to the top of the post.
• Exceptional stability and functionality
• Does not require alteration of any other teeth
• Is entirely synthetic and cannot develop cavities (but is not completely immune to problems)
• Long life span
• Cost. Few, if any, insurance plans cover placement of an implant, which can cost several thousand dollars. Insurance may cover the crown portion of an implant, however.
• Time to completion. Implants must undergo a process known as osseointegration, meaning fusion with the bone. This is what gives implants their superior stability, but it comes at a cost of 4-6 months of waiting before the crown can be attached.
Dental Bridge: An Excellent Alternative
A bridge is a series of 3 crowns fused together. If you are missing one tooth, the two teeth on either side of the toothless space are crowned, and the middle crown hovers above the gum line, replacing the missing tooth.
• Cost. A 3-unit bridge is often half the cost of an entire implant assembly, and most insurances cover a significant portion of the treatment.
• Time to completion. Most bridges can be fabricated and delivered in two appointments, roughly two weeks apart.
• Requires irreversible alteration of neighboring teeth, even if they do not have any problems of their own.
• Because a bridge is a device that is supported by natural teeth, cavities can develop and threaten the integrity of the entire bridge.
• Can be difficult to floss/keep clean
Although implants are considered a slightly better option, a dental bridge is a common treatment that is an excellent tooth replacement option. It is important to note that implants are some what case sensitive, meaning your Belleville dentist will have to thoroughly evaluate your bone structure to determine if an implant is possible. Regardless of which option you choose, you can look forward to a long-lasting, stable tooth replacement.