But which solution is better, Dental Bridges or Dental Implants?
In the New York Times article by Jane Brody, “A Dental Shift: Implants Instead of Bridges” Dr. Michael Zidile, a periodontist, remarks — after looking at the writer’s teeth — “This is not how we do restorations nowadays. A bridge is not a permanent solution and makes it too hard for most people to keep their gums and underlying bone healthy. Now we do implants and individual crowns where needed.”
After getting a second opinion (just to be certain), Brody discovered that this was by no means an isolated attitude. In fact, in many cases where a patient has to get a tooth replaced, the best and most long-term solution for both replacing the tooth and maintaining a healthy mouth for years to come is a dental implant. Not only are dental implants easier to clean and maintain — making better oral habits more likely, but dental implants also rarely need to be replaced, making them more economical than bridges.
As Dr. Lawrence J. Kessler explained further, “Bridges are not the standard of care anymore” and implants tend to be the treatment of choice over dental bridges. On top of this, they don’t require crowns to support them — making them simpler to install and easier to brush and floss. This helps ensure that surrounding gum tissue and bone are far more likely to remain healthy.
On the other hand, dental bridges use surrounding teeth to support the tooth being replaced. With this in mind, if one of the teeth supporting the replaced tooth is damaged, breaks, or develops decay (which is possible, due to the teeth being harder to clean with a bridge), the entire bridge and all of its supporting crowns need to be replaced.
The Big Difference
What many patients hone in on when it comes to the difference between dental implants and dental bridges is the fact that dental implants tend to cost more, and this is true. But there’s one important distinction to make:
While the cost of a dental implant tends to be more — the “life” of a dental bridge is about 10 years, meaning that the bridge will need to be replaced at some point while a dental implant could last a lifetime.
Do you have questions about replacing a decayed or broken tooth? Wondering what options might work best for you? We’re happy to help. Here in our Garden Grove, CA dental clinic we’ve installed hundreds (if not thousands) of dental implants. Contact us today with any questions.