Dental Bridge VS Implant

Feb 28, 2024

Choosing between dental implants and dental bridges is a crucial decision in dentistry and impacts your oral health, aesthetics, and lifestyle. Implants offer a durable, natural-like option that supports bone health and lasts longer, while bridges provide a traditional, quicker, and more affordable way to replace missing teeth.

At Ageless Smiles Dental Centre, we can do both for you. Let’s look into the benefits, costs, and considerations of each to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your dental goals and well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dental implants offer long-term benefits such as stability, bone loss prevention, and natural aesthetics but are costly and require surgery and healing time.
  • Implants suit patients with sufficient bone structure.  
  • Dental bridges are less expensive, quicker to implement, and suitable for those not eligible for implants, but they can compromise the health of adjacent teeth, don’t prevent bone loss, and may need future repairs or replacements.
  •  Both treatments are likely not covered by insurance in Australia, as major dental insurance usually only contributes up to $1,000.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant acts as a synthetic root intricately designed to anchor artificial teeth into the jawbone. Crafted primarily from titanium, known for its durability and compatibility with body tissues, it integrates with the bone through a process called osseointegration. This fusion not only ensures the stability of the implant but also aids in preserving the jawbone’s integrity, preventing the bone loss that often accompanies tooth loss. 

Serving as a foundation for replacement teeth, such as crowns or bridges, dental implants stand out for their ability to restore full chewing function and bring back the aesthetic appeal of natural teeth. They represent a significant advancement in dental technology, offering a permanent solution for those looking to replace missing teeth and enhance their oral health.

Dental Implant Pros and Cons

Dental implants are celebrated for their durability and their ability to replicate the function and appearance of natural teeth. Unlike other tooth replacement methods, implants do not require altering adjacent teeth, making them a more conservative option. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of dental implants. 

Pros of Dental Implants Cons of Dental Implants
Unparalleled stability due to osseointegration with the jawbone Higher initial cost compared to other tooth replacement options
Prevents bone loss, supporting overall oral health Requires a surgical procedure, which carries inherent risks
Preserves the facial structure by maintaining jawbone integrity Requires sufficient bone structure for placement, which may necessitate additional procedures like bone grafting
Does not require altering adjacent teeth, preserving natural tooth structure The process from implant placement to final restoration can be lengthy, including a healing period
Offers a permanent solution with the potential to last a lifetime with proper care Not all patients are candidates for dental implants; suitability must be evaluated by a dental professional
Enhances aesthetics and functionality, closely mimicking natural teeth Some patients may experience a longer healing time or require additional treatments to ensure implant success
Contributes to improved oral hygiene compared to options like bridges that can be harder to clean around The cost may not be fully covered by dental insurance plans, leading to higher out-of-pocket expenses for the patient

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a custom-fabricated restoration designed to fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It consists of one or more prosthetic teeth, termed pontics, and is anchored on either side by abutments, which are either natural teeth or implants prepared to support the structure. 

The goal of a dental bridge is to restore both the functionality and aesthetics of a patient’s smile by replacing the absent teeth. This restoration not only enhances the ability to chew and speak but also prevents the adjacent teeth from shifting—a common occurrence that can lead to bite issues and periodontal disease. 

By effectively “bridging” the gap, dental bridges play a crucial role in maintaining the shape of the face and alleviating stress on the bite, thus contributing positively to overall oral health and facial aesthetics. In summary, dental bridges offer a dependable, less invasive option for tooth replacement, addressing both functional and cosmetic requirements with precision.

Dental Bridge Pros and Cons

Dental bridges offer a cost-effective and faster solution for replacing missing teeth, making them an attractive option for many. They restore the functionality of your bite and the aesthetics of your smile without the surgical procedures required for dental implants. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of dental bridges. 

Pros of Dental Bridges Cons of Dental Bridges
Cost-effective initial solution for tooth replacement Requires alteration of adjacent teeth, which may compromise their long-term health
Faster treatment timeline with no need for surgical procedures Does not prevent bone loss in the jaw as they do not stimulate the bone beneath the missing tooth
Can prevent remaining teeth from shifting, maintaining bite alignment Typically have a shorter lifespan than dental implants, potentially leading to additional costs for replacement or repair
Restores functionality of the bite and aesthetics of the smile efficiently The process of fitting a bridge can lead to discomfort or sensitivity in adjacent teeth
Immediate improvement in oral aesthetics and function Dependence on the health and stability of adjacent teeth for support, which can be a drawback if these teeth become compromised
Suitable for patients who are not candidates for dental implants due to health conditions or insufficient bone density Lack of stimulation to the jawbone can lead to further bone deterioration over time
Less invasive option, avoiding the complexities and recovery time associated with surgical implant placement May require more maintenance and care compared to dental implants, including special flossing tools to clean under the bridge

Dental Bridge vs Implant: Cost

In Perth, raditional dental bridges are usually cheaper and cost about $1,800 to $5,000 per tooth, while the cost of dental implants range from $4,750 to $6,000 per tooth.The cost of full-mouth dental implants can range from $15,000 to $80,000. Bridges are generally cheaper upfront, but implants may be more cost-effective in the long run due to their durability.

* Prices are provided as a general guide only and are not meant to be binding. All dental procedures require your dentist to provide an accurate assessment of your unique medical needs before providing you with a cost estimate.

Dental bridges are less expensive upfront but may incur additional costs over time. You may need to change adjacent teeth for bridge support which can lead to future dental issues and result in further treatment. Bridges also usually have a shorter lifespan than implants and may need replacement or repair after several years which will add up to the overall cost.

Cost Factor Dental Implants Dental Bridges
Initial Cost Higher due to surgical placement and implant material quality Lower initial cost, no surgery required
Long-term Maintenance Lower, fewer replacements needed, minimal maintenance Higher, may require replacement or repair, additional dental care for adjacent teeth
Potential Additional Procedures Bone grafting, if insufficient bone density None typically, unless issues arise with supporting teeth
Insurance Coverage Varies, not all plans cover implants fully More commonly covered, but coverage levels vary
Financing Options Payment plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), dental discount programs Payment plans, HSAs, dental discount programs
Durability and Longevity Can last a lifetime with proper care 5-15 years on average, depending on care and oral health
Overall Long-term Costs Potentially lower due to durability and fewer replacements Potentially higher due to need for replacement and possible issues with supporting teeth

How Do I Choose Between Dental Implants Vs Bridges

Not sure which option to go for? Take a look at some factors you should consider. The best way to decide is to book an appointment with us, at Ageless Smiles Dental Centre, so we can take a look at your pearly whites and make an individual assessment based on your case. We;ll give you both options and explain our professional opinion for leaning toward one more or the other depending on what your smile needs. 

Factors to Consider:

  • Number of missing teeth: Implants are best for single or few missing teeth, while bridges can replace multiple teeth.
  • Jawbone health: Implants require sufficient bone, while bridges don’t.
  • Cost: Implants are generally more expensive upfront, but bridges may need replacement sooner.
  • Procedure: Implants involve surgery, while bridges are less invasive.
  • Durability: Implants are long-lasting and function like natural teeth. Bridges may need replacement over time.
  • Maintenance: Implants require regular care, but bridges may need special flossing techniques.
  • Aesthetics: Both options can look natural, but implants offer a more natural chewing sensation.

FAQs About Dental Implants vs. Bridges

What does the process of getting a dental implant involve?

A dental implant procedure typically includes a consultation, implant placement surgery, healing period, and placement of the dental crown. The timeline and success of the procedure can vary based on individual healing and bone integration.

Which hurts more, dental Implants or bridges?

Generally, dental implants involve more initial pain due to the surgical procedure compared to bridges, which require no surgery. However, bridges might cause some sensitivity after placement.

Which process is faster, dental Implants or bridges?

Bridges are usually faster to place, and often completed in one or two appointments. Implants require multiple appointments over several months for healing and crown placement.

Does brands affect the cost of implants?

Yes, different dental implant brands use varying materials and that affects the cost of the implants.