What’s Better: A Dental Implant or a Bridge?

Tooth loss is extremely common. It’s estimated that 69 percentTrusted Source of adults 35 to 44 have lost at least one adult tooth. By age 74, about a quarter of Americans lose all of their adult teeth.

When you lose a tooth, it’s essential to get a proper replacement to keep the rest of your teeth aligned. Replacement teeth can also help you maintain your facial shape and avoid difficulties with eating or speaking. Two of the most common options are dental bridges and implants.

Dental bridges are false teeth held in place by the teeth around your missing tooth. They’re usually made from materials like porcelain or plasticTrusted Source to match your natural tooth color. They can cover one or several missing teeth.

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots usually made from titanium. They’re mounted into your jawbone with screws to hold a crown or bridge in place.

Let’s compare the pros and cons of dental implants and bridges. We’ll also look at factors that can help you determine which option is better for you.

Dental implants are artificial teeth implanted that allow bone to grow around the implant. Dental bridges are used to close the gap between missing teeth using crowns and artificial teeth. Illustration by Wenzdai Figueroa
Dental implant vs. bridge

Dental implants and bridges can both potentially deliver natural-looking results, but they come with their own benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a look at how these two tooth replacement options compare.

Dental bridge pros

  • likely to be covered by insurance
  • doesn’t require bone grafting or invasive surgery
  • usually lower upfront cost than dental implants
  • usually requires only two visits to your dentist spread over a couple of weeks

Dental bridge cons

  • has to be replaced about every 5 to 7 years (although can last more than 10 years)
  • loses a natural-looking appearance with age
  • more cavities and tooth decay in surrounding teeth than with implants
  • can damage the healthy teeth around the missing tooth

Dental implant pros

  • can last 15 yearsTrusted Source or more and are the longest lasting option on the market
  • retain natural-looking appearance longer than bridges
  • don’t damage the healthy teeth around the implant
  • very high 10-year success rate, around 97 percentTrusted Source

Dental implant cons

  • less likely to be covered by insurance
  • process can take up to 6 monthsTrusted Source
  • higher upfront cost
  • may lead to surgical complications
By |2021-01-23T21:36:03-05:00January 22nd, 2021|News, seniors|