When it comes to replacing missing teeth, patients may consider a dental implant or a more traditional dental bridge. They may well be guided by cost and end up choosing the cheapest option without fully appreciating the pros and cons of the different treatments available to them.
As an example, let’s compare a traditional cemented dental bridge with a single-tooth dental implant. The former is certainly cheaper than the latter – but why is that?
Just consider how a dental bridge is made. As the name suggests, a ‘bridge’ must be created to support the replacement tooth. Take a look at this 2-minute video which compares a single-tooth dental implant and a three unit bridge to replace one missing tooth.
If you choose to have a dental bridge to replace a single tooth, the process involves drilling down the adjacent teeth to create anchors to support the bridge. In short, the process involves removing healthy tooth tissue which is irreversible. For a single-tooth dental implant, the adjacent teeth are not affected at all.
Also be aware that if you have a missing tooth, you will start to lose bone in the area of the missing tooth through a process called resorption. The placement of a dental implant can help stabilise this area and prevent further bone loss; however a dental bridge, since it doesn’t get placed within the bone structure, cannot help in bone stabilisation.
A further consideration is that dental bridges are likely to last 7 to 10 years; dental implants can last decades if cared for properly.
For people who have lost teeth, dental implants are the best next thing to having their natural teeth. A single-tooth dental implant offers a number of advantages over traditional bridge work, namely:
- Healthy teeth are not damaged in the process
- A dental implant can help prevent bone resorption
- Dental implants can last a long time and have zero chance of getting a cavity
If you’ve lost a tooth and want a permanent replacement, consider your options carefully. The upfront cost of a dental implant is more than for a traditional cemented bridge – but dental implants are the best long-term solution for a healthy mouth, and thus are more economical in the long run.
Feel free to discuss same-day dental implants with The Implant Experts. Call to arrange your free initial chat with our dental implant co-ordinator where you can discuss your situation, find out what the various treatment options entail and their prices.