When the patients need replacing a lost tooth, many of them ask themselves the following question: Is it better for me to have an implant or a dental bridge? How could it be otherwise, this doubt comes from the normal ignorance about the two options? Both alternatives indeed cover the same need, which is the replacement of the natural tooth. In this way, the patient can recover the full functionality and aesthetics of his mouth.
However, if analyzed in-depth, it is no less true that both implants and bridges have several advantages and disadvantages. But, before we start talking about the benefits and disadvantages, let’s define well what an implant is and what a bridge is.
Contents to focus on:
- What are dental bridges?
- What are the implants?
- Which is better: an implant or a bridge?
- Advantages of implants and bridges
What are dental bridges?
A dental bridge is a structure composed of a set of crowns and that serves to simulate the shape of several teeth. Said bridge is fixed – using dental cement – on the natural teeth that the person who carries it has.
However, to perform this procedure which is completely opposite and different from tooth implants, fix the bridge it is essential to carve adjacent teeth. This is because the crown is placed on top of them. Therefore, to overlap it, it is necessary to reduce the size of the teeth
As the last characteristic of dental bridges, we will say that they are placed fixedly. That is, as they are cemented on the patient’s natural teeth, they can only be removed at the dentist’s office.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small screw that is inserted into the patient’s jaw bone. In this way, it is intended to replace the absent tooth root. To give the implant full functionality and aesthetics, it will be necessary to place a dental crown on top of the screw. This crown will be the one that simulates the shape of the lost original tooth.
Contrary to what happens with bridges, when we place an implant we should not carve neighboring teeth. This is because the tooth implant is inserted into the empty hole, it does not need to rest on the rest of the teeth and works independently of them.
Which is better: a dental implant or a bridge?
If we were to generalize, it is preferred that paying tooth implant cost are always a better option than bridges. However, in terms of health, it is not convenient to generalize. Therefore, it is said that that the choice will depend on the case of each patient, their needs and the aspects to which they attach importance.
Advantages of implants and bridges
When deciding which the most appropriate treatment for the patient is, dentists fundamentally value four aspects. These elements are duration, aesthetics, the need for carving and price.
The dental implant not only replaces the visible part of the tooth – the crown – but also its root. This makes it a much more faithful version and closes to the natural tooth of the person. Therefore, it is a much more stable option in the long term.
However, in the case of the bridge, its stability depends, in large part, on neighboring teeth. This is because the bridge is supported by the patient’s natural teeth. Therefore, their survival is closely linked to those of said adjacent dental pieces and that they do not develop any pathology, such as caries.
That said, it is also worth noting that the implant, being a completely artificial element, cannot suffer a disease such as caries. Both the implant and the dental bridge have aesthetic functionality and respond very well to the needs of the patient. However, the implant indeed provides a much more natural look to the smile.
This is due to the advances that techniques and materials in the specialty of Implantology have experienced in recent years. As it is explained here previously, to place a bridge it is necessary to carve the neighboring dental pieces, which are healthy. So always try to make a detailed study on both the apparatus and then go with the appropriate use.