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Dental bridges vs. implants

When choosing between dental bridges vs. implants, it’s important to understand the pros and cons. Both are great solutions, depending on your unique smile’s needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision.

The importance of replacing missing teeth

Having a full smile is essential when it comes to protecting your oral health. Not only does it help boost your confidence, but replacing missing teeth also helps to support your total-mouth health.

Missing teeth can hinder basic functions like chewing and speaking 

Tooth loss reduces jawbone density, highlighting the importance of getting dental implants to help prevent further deterioration 

Gaps cause neighboring teeth to shift, impacting your smile’s alignment 

Missing teeth can affect facial structure; restoration can enhance your appearance 

Gaps can lead to speech difficulties; replacement can improve your speech 

Breaking down dental bridges vs. implants

Dental bridges and implants are two effective solutions that restore the functionality and feel of your smile. Although both options present their unique strengths, it’s important to understand what sets them apart so you can choose the best one for your unique dental health needs. 

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Dental implants

Dental implants are our most permanent smile solution. The implant base is crafted from bio-compatible titanium— meaning your new teeth are built to last. After surgically placing your dental implants, your new teeth will look, feel and function like your own.

The three parts to a dental implant 

Implant

The implant, or the new tooth root, is placed beneath the surface of your gums in your jawbone for a secure fit.

Crown

The crown, or tooth, is located at the top of your implant and functions like your natural tooth.

Abutment

The abutment connects the crown to your implant, so your new teeth look and feel naturally you.

Pros and cons of dental implants

Pros

Cons

Lifespan - Enduring lifespan (25+ years) with proper care and maintenanceProcedure - More invasive treatment, but does not impact surrounding teeth 
Feels like you - Most natural-feeling smile solution, enhances eating experienceRecovery time - Longer healing time (several months) 
Bone health - Supports the health of your jawbone Cost - Larger investment, but potential for long-term savings 
Insurance - Insurance may cover part of the cost of dental implants Additional treatment - May require a temporary dental restoration

Dental bridges 

Dental bridges are a less invasive tooth replacement option. They’re anchored to the adjacent teeth and provide one or more replacement teeth attached to a framework. 

The four types of dental bridges 

Discover the four main types of dental bridges to learn which one might be right for you. Speak with your Aspen Dental dentist to create a custom care plan to support your unique dental health needs.  

Traditional, fixed bridge 
Cantilever dental bridge 

Pros and cons of dental bridges

Pros

Cons

Procedure - Can usually complete in 2 dental visitsLifespan - Limited lifespan (5-10 years) 
Recovery time - Quick healing time (about two weeks)Oral care - Require a more thorough brushing and care routine
Cost - More economical smile solution Additional care - Potential for tooth decay or gum disease if not properly cleaned 
Insurance - Insurance may cover part of the cost of dental bridges Potential implications - May impact the health of surrounding teeth 

Dental bridges vs. implants FAQs

Dental implants are the longest lasting solution on the market and will support your smile for many years to come. However, when deciding on dental bridges vs. implants, it’s best to talk with your Aspen Dental dentist to discuss your unique oral health needs.

Here are a few more details to consider when choosing your smile replacement treatment.

  • Your budget: Although dental implants are more expensive than dental bridges, implants last longer and may be more cost-effective over time.

  • Your lifestyle: Dental implants are a great smile solution if you’re looking for something long-lasting and with strong chewing ability.

  • Your cosmetic goals: Dental implants are the most natural-looking tooth replacement option.

  • Your overall health: Dental implants put you at less risk of gum infection, when compared to dental bridges. Also, by assisting you in chewing correctly, implants support your ability to eat a wider variety of foods to supply your body with essential nutrients.

For dental implants, you should be able to return to your regular diet roughly five days post-surgery. Implant placement healing can vary from days to a few weeks. The entire healing process after your implant placement is 3-6 months, before receiving your final restoration.

Healing time for dental bridges is shorter, about 1-2 weeks. After that, the bridge starts to feel natural and comfortable.

Dental implant costs can vary depending on factors like materials and procedures, but typically, the cost of implants is higher upfront than dental bridges. However, implants often provide a longer-term solution with enhanced benefits like improved stability and durability. This means it’s potentially the more cost-effective choice over time