Dental Implant vs. Bridge: Pros and Cons, and which is the best for you
Updated: Aug 1
Whether your tooth is damaged or missing, you can rely on a dental implant and a tooth bridge to restore function and aesthetics. But which is the best alternative for you?
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are replacement teeth with artificial roots and crowns. They are used in dental restoration procedures to address tooth loss or replace damaged teeth. Your Toronto dentist will determine whether you’re a good candidate before recommending this treatment. Titanium implants are surgically placed in the jawbone to replace the root of the missing tooth. You’ll have to wait 4-7 months for osseointegration to occur before the crown is placed on the implant to restore function and aesthetics. If you’re not a good candidate for dental implants, your Toronto dentist can recommend dental bridges.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges consist of artificial teeth with crowns that anchor on adjacent teeth. A tooth bridge is a cheaper alternative to a dental implant. But why is it a bridge? It bridges the gap left by missing teeth. There are four types of dental bridges - cantilever, dental implant bridges, traditional, and Maryland bonded bridges. Cantilever and Maryland bridges can attach to an adjacent tooth only one side of the gap. All four types of bridges can restore function and improve aesthetics.
What are the pros and cons of dental implant vs. bridge?
While dental implants and bridges are effective for smile restoration, each alternative has its own pros and cons. Here is an analysis of the benefits and disadvantages of dental bridges and implants:
What are the benefits of dental bridges?
Bridging doesn’t require invasive surgery.
Complete the entire procedure after two visits to your dentist. It is quicker than implants.
Bridges are cheaper than dental implants in short term.
Some dental insurance policies cover bridges, but not dental implants.
What are the disadvantages of dental bridges?
Bridges have a shorter lifespan than dental implants. They can be replaced every 5-7 years.
It can damage healthy teeth or cause decay on adjacent teeth.
Without proper care, bridges can lose their natural-looking appearance.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are long-lasting, with a lifespan of 10-15 years.
Guarantees about 97% ten-year success rate.
They look like natural teeth longer than bridges.
What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
The dental implant procedure lasts longer than bridging and can take 5-8 months.
Dental implants cost more than bridges in short term.
The implantation procedure requires surgery, increasing the risk of complications.
It is excluded from most dental insurance policies.
Which is better, an implant or bridge?
The answer to this question varies from person to person, depending on factors like age, the number of missing teeth, and the jawbone's structural stability. A dental bridge is better than an implant if your jawbone is weak or damaged. Your Toronto dentist can recommend all-on-4 dental implants for full-mouth rehabilitation. Bridging will be the best alternative for you if you’re missing two or three consecutive teeth.
What is the alternative to a dental bridge?
Dental implants are the best alternative to bridges. However, there are other options for replacing missing teeth. If you don’t have strong abutment teeth on the side of the gap, your Toronto dentist can recommend removable dentures. These dentures clip to existing natural teeth and fill in gaps left by one or several missing teeth. Dentures are cheaper than most types of dental bridges. If you can’t afford dental implants or bridges right away, use space maintainers to prevent your teeth from lean towards the gap. But this is a temporary solution.
What is the cheapest way to replace a missing tooth?
Dentures are the cheapest way to replace missing teeth. But they are not as comfortable and stable as dental bridges or implants. Dental bridges strike a perfect balance between affordability, comfort, and stability. They are the best and cheapest way to replace a missing tooth.
How do dental implants cost in Canada?
The average cost of dental implants in Canada is around $1800-$2500 per tooth, including the implant material fee. But the price doesn't include the prosthodontics part of the treatment. So, dental implant costs for one tooth can vary in Toronto and Ontario, depending on the procedure. The price covers the implant material fee, but it doesn't include related consultations, examinations, and follow-ups. If you're getting all-on-4 implants, expect to pay more. All-on-4 dental implants cost in Toronto ranges from $20.000 and $25.000. But it cost more because several factors influence the final price. If you need full-mouth rehabilitation, all-on-4 teeth dental implants in Toronto will cost you $25,000 to $50,000. Why? Well, you’ll need at least four titanium implants per jaw with full arches of replacement teeth.
Is a bridge cheaper than an implant?
Yes, it is! Dental bridges like Maryland, traditional, and cantilever bridges cost between $1.000 and $2.000 per tooth. But dental implant bridges cost more because the procedure involves implant placement. And what is the average cost of a 3 tooth dental bridge? On average, three-unit dental bridges cost $3000-$5000. But getting a bridge worth every penny. It is more affordable than dental implants and also highly effective for replacing a missing tooth. Does dental insurance cover implants and bridges? Unfortunately, basic dental insurance policies don't cover dental implants and bridges for cosmetic dentistry procedures. For example, MetLife Dental has a missing teeth clause that excludes the replacement of missing teeth from its coverage. If you have cosmetic dental insurance, it can cover up to 50% of bridging and dental implant costs.
Can you replace an old dental bridge with an implant?
Yes, it is possible but not recommended. Dental bridges are secured using cement designed to last several years. Removing your dental bridge can damage or weaken adjacent teeth used as abutment teeth. Dental specialists will only replace your old bridge if it is damaged and irreparable.
Can a tooth get infected under a bridge?
Dental bridges anchor on existing natural teeth. They don’t provide protection against oral health issues. So, natural teeth under a dental bridge are still vulnerable to infections and tooth decay. But you can reduce this risk by incorporating good oral hygiene into your dental care routine. So, what can you not eat with a dental bridge? Avoid candies, gum, caramel, fruit snacks, and other foods that can stick under your dental bridge.
Which implant is best for teeth?
Titanium implants are the best for teeth. Why? Titanium is biocompatible and fuses with the human bone. Dental implants made from titanium feel like ordinary teeth. But does a dental bridge feel natural? Bridges are comfortable as your natural teeth. After a short period, you won’t tell the difference between your teeth and the bridge.
You can rely on Toronto Smile Design Clinic whether you seek a dental implant or bridge.
Why Toronto Smile Design
Toronto Smile Design’s Dr. Johnson Ozgur is a Cosmetic Dentist in Toronto with a Master's Degree in Oral Surgery. He is a dental specialist with years of experience in dental implants, bridges, all-on-4 implants, porcelain veneers, and more. Dr. Johnson leverages Digital Smile Design to deliver transformational smile makeovers. Contact us today!