One of the questions that come up often is “What is the difference between bridges and implants?” In this article, we’ll look at the differences as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.
A bridge works by replacing your missing teeth with a row of prosthetic teeth. This row is supported on both sides by your natural teeth or implants. There are several ways that a bridge can be implemented. Traditional bridges are attached to the supporting teeth by means of a crown. If your natural teeth are to be used as supports, they will need to have a portion removed to make room for the crown. Another type of bridge is the Maryland bonded bridge. It consists of a metal framework with “wings” on each side. The wings are bonded to the back of the supporting teeth using a plastic resin. The prosthetic teeth are also bonded to the framework.
There are several advantages to bridges. They look and function well while having a lower upfront cost compared to dental implants. Bridges may be a better teeth replacement option when the teeth on either side of the missing teeth already have crowns or if there are multiple missing teeth in the front of the mouth. The disadvantages are that portions of your teeth have to be removed, and there is a greater chance of developing tooth decay and gum disease compared to dental implants. They also do not last as long. While implants can last a lifetime with proper care, bridges typically last between five and ten years.
Implants can be used to replace one or multiple teeth. The actual implant is a titanium post that is fused to your jawbone. A part called an abutment is attached to the implant, and then a crown, denture, or bridge is secured to the abutment. The difference between traditional bridges and implant-supported bridges is that the implant-supported bridges are more secure and do not require that any part of your teeth be removed.
The greatest advantage of implants is how similar they are to natural teeth. They look, feel, and work just like natural teeth. Unlike bridges, tooth decay and gum disease are not as likely to develop. The disadvantage is that they are more expensive and do require minor surgery.
If you are still unsure about whether bridges or implants are better for your situation, contact Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry at 713-766-1493 to schedule a free consultation.