Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants: Which Is Right For Me?

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When considering dental bridges or implants, it’s essential to understand the difference between the two procedures. Both can be used to replace missing teeth, but which treatment is right for you?

In this blog post, we’ll break down the advantages of dental bridges and tackle some factors you may need to consider when choosing a restorative treatment. This way, we can help you to make an informed decision before getting your new teeth. Let’s now take a closer look at both options.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge is one of the treatment options to replace missing teeth. It is a false tooth held in place by the healthy natural teeth (or abutment) on either side of the gap. These dental restorations are usually made from materials such as porcelain, gold, or alloys. Common types of dental bridges are those that are permanently bonded to the abutments. Some can be attached to the original teeth with clasps or metal attachments that are removable.

Additionally, they are called dental bridges because they “bridge” or fill in the gap caused by tooth loss. That way, they can restore your chewing function and smile. Oftentimes, they are compared to dental implants.

How Are Dental Bridges Different From Dental Implants?

A dental bridge consists of one or more dental prosthetics (false teeth) attached to dental crowns, which are then cemented onto the natural teeth (abutment) on either side of the gap. This option is less invasive than dental implants, but they tend to be less stable. Additionally, dental bridges rely on the surrounding teeth for support, which means that these teeth may need to be shaped for the bridge to fit correctly.

On the contrary, dental implants consist of a small titanium post that is inserted into your jawbone to serve as a replacement for your tooth root. Once the implant has fused with your bone, a dental prosthetic (crown) is attached to the post. Dental implants are solid and stable. One downside of dental implants is that they require surgery, which can be invasive and costly.

Both dental implants and bridges can deliver excellent results, but selecting between the two will depend mainly on your unique case. All in all, it’s essential to work with your dentist to choose the best option for you.

When Would I Need Dental Bridges?

We know that dental bridges are one way to address tooth loss. It can restore your smile and prevent the nearby teeth from shifting out of place. If you have one or more missing teeth but have healthy ones on either side of the empty socket where the tooth once was, then a dental bridge might be right for you. Still, there are other factors that need to be considered, including your oral hygiene, bone support and more. If you think you might need a dental bridge, please consult your dentist. They will be able to assess your adjacent teeth, gum condition, and other aspects and let you know if a dental bridge is right for you.

It is also known as a resin-bonded bridge and is a common solution for single front tooth replacement. This bridge procedure requires two natural abutment teeth on each side of the space, just as a traditional bridge is. Unlike a traditional bridge, it does not require the adjacent teeth to be shaped or crowns placed, making it a more conservative alternative. Metal wings or porcelain wings are bonded to the back of abutment teeth.

What Are The Types Of Dental Bridges?

Traditional Bridges

We know that dental bridges are one way to address tooth loss. It can restore your smile and prevent the nearby teeth from shifting out of place. If you have one or more missing teeth but have healthy ones on either side of the empty socket where the tooth once was, then a dental bridge might be right for you. Still, there are other factors that need to be considered, including your oral hygiene, bone support and more.

If you think you might need a dental bridge, please consult your dentist. They will be able to assess your adjacent teeth, gum condition, and other aspects and let you know if a dental bridge is right for you.

Cantilever Bridge

These are somehow similar to traditional bridges, but the pontic (the artificial tooth) is supported by an abutment (a real tooth) on only one side rather than on both sides. The cantilever bridge is usually used when there is only one healthy tooth beside the gap.

Maryland Bridges

These are somehow similar to traditional bridges, but the pontic (the artificial tooth) is supported by an abutment (a real tooth) on only one side rather than on both sides. The cantilever bridge is usually used when there is only one healthy tooth beside the gap.

What Advantages Do Dental Bridges Have Over Dental Implants?

This is an important question, and it should be considered whenever you’re deciding between the two. Now that you know the details about dental bridges and their different types, we will now discuss their advantages over dental implants:

  • Less expensive alternative. One of the major considerations for many patients is cost; in that respect, dental bridges have a significant advantage. Dental implants are more expensive because they require a complex surgical procedure. After that, a false tooth will still need to be attached to your implant, adding to the cost.
  • Less-invasive procedure. The processes are significantly different from each other. Although bridges do require some tooth preparation to shape the supporting teeth, surgery is not necessary, unlike dental implants.
  • Faster than other options. The dentist can place dental bridges in a single or two visits. On the contrary, dental implants may require multiple visits to complete the restoration.
  • Bone graft is not required. When a tooth is missing, the bone that once held it in its place may start to deteriorate over time. Some patients may need bone grafting to be suitable for dental implants. On the other hand, dental bridges are supported by the teeth. Hence, bone grafting is not required. As long as these adjacent teeth are strong and healthy, they can provide an adequate foundation for your bridge. Dental bridges are a good option for those with significant bone loss.

Informed patients always make the best decisions regarding their oral health. Be sure to consider all of your options and ask your dentist about any concerns you may have before making a decision.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Getting Dental Bridges?

While dental bridges have many advantages, it’s essential to be aware of the disadvantages. These may include the following:

  • Bridges require the removal of tooth enamel. Healthy teeth on either side of the gap must be shaped with a dental drill to fit the crown. In the process, a small amount of tooth structure is removed. It may result in the loss of healthy tooth enamel, which is irreversible and permanent.
  • Maryland bridges tend to be less stable. The metal portion of the bridge is cemented to the back of your natural teeth, which may result in permanent damage. Plus, they tend to be less stable and less likely to withstand the pressure from chewing.
  • They don’t address the underlying issue of jaw bone deterioration. When a tooth is extracted or lost, the bone around it starts to resorb. It may cause a change in the shape of your face and make it difficult to chew properly. Bridges don’t have artificial tooth roots, so they can’t stimulate bone growth and provide the same level of support as implants.

What Is The Cost Difference Between Dental Bridges And Implants?

Many factors can influence the cost of dental restorations, and the price varies depending on the specific procedure. For instance, the cost of a dental bridge typically ranges from $1,800 to $4,500, while the cost of traditional dental implants may range between $3,000 and $5,500 per tooth. But the full set may cost between $21,000 to $23,000 per arch. Now let’s see the average cost of dental bridges according to each type:

  • Implant-supported bridge: $6200 – $9,400
  • Cantilever bridge (with crown): $2,700 – $3,800
  • Traditional bridge (with 2 crowns): $4,250 – $5,760

It’s essential to note that the specific materials used and the location of the dental clinic can also affect the price. The lists above are only estimates of the cost of dental bridges, and getting an actual number from your dentist before having any work done is essential. In general, dental implants are more expensive than dental bridges.

Which Should I Choose?

A dental professional can advise you on the best option for your individual case based on factors like budget, number of missing teeth, and your overall health. But here are some details that may help you decide which one to choose:

Number of Missing Teeth

A dental bridge is likely a better option than an implant if you’re missing multiple teeth in a row. That’s because a separate implant needs to be surgically attached to your jawbone for each missing tooth, and that can become expensive – not to mention invasive.


Your Overall Health

When choosing a dental restoration, it is essential to consider the patient’s overall health. This is an important factor in the success of the procedure. For instance, implants involve oral surgery, and as we’ve discussed, they may not be an option for people with medical conditions that can slow down healing.


Duration of Restoration Process

When considering whether to get a dental implant or a bridge, one factor you may want to consider is treatment time. The entire process of getting a dental implant can take several months, while a dental bridge can be installed in one to two trips to your dentist over a couple of weeks.

Final Thoughts

Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. They can be installed without surgery, unlike dental implants, making them a popular choice for many people. However, the decision to get a dental bridge is ultimately up to you, your personal preferences, and your health condition.

If you’re considering getting a dental bridge, we encourage you to book an appointment with Byford Smiles. We can assess your needs and help you make the best decision for your smile. You can reach us at 08 9532 0247 or book an appointment on our website. Our dental team is looking forward to helping you regain a healthy and beautiful smile.

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