dental bridge

Why Have a Dental Implant When a Bridge Will Do?

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 by 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 offer a number of advantages over traditional bridge work, namely:

  1. Healthy teeth are not damaged in the process
  2. A dental implant can help prevent bone resorption
  3. 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 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.

Anthony Bendkowski (GDC No. 57249)

Anthony Bendkowski or ‘Ben’ to his team, is a specialist in oral surgery in practice limited to implant reconstructive surgery in London and the South East of England. He qualified from University College Hospital Dental School, London in 1982 and subsequently gained extensive experience in both hospital and practice-based oral surgery.

He has over twenty five years of experience in both the surgical and restorative management of implant cases. He has a keen interest in all aspects of dental education and has lectured on and run bone augmentation and implant training courses, as well as lecturing on business skills for successful implant practice for a number of years. He is a Past President of the Association of Dental Implantology (UK) and an examiner for the Edinburgh Diploma in Implant Dentistry as well as for Membership in Oral Surgery for the Royal College of Surgeons, England.

Clinically Ben undertakes all aspects of implant treatment, including Teeth in a Day/All on 4 surgery, aesthetic anterior tooth replacement, and complex cases involving extensive bone reconstruction.

In his spare time he is a keen pilot and can regularly be seen flying his vintage WW II aircraft in airshows. Ben also enjoys playing guitar badly with a local band, ‘Leaky Tap’.

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