What are dental implants?
Dental implants may involve a series of procedures including bone grafting, dental implant placement and prosthetics placement to replace a missing tooth. The dental implant procedure involves placing a titanium anchor where a missing tooth root, or alveolus, is located. Over time, the titanium implant bonds with the jawbone, much like the natural bond between one’s tooth and jawbone. This essential titanium peg not only serves as a strong foundation for a prosthetic tooth, but it also prevents bone deterioration, which would typically occur with the loss of a tooth. Once the bond forms, dental implants are capped with a prosthetic crown, which serves as a natural, functional and aesthetic replacement for one’s natural tooth.
What are dental bridges?
Fixed dental bridges, on the other hand, are a non-removable prosthetics that attach directly onto one’s remaining teeth and bridge the gap to cover a missing tooth. The natural teeth that lie on either side of the missing tooth are filed down to sharp points in order for the bridge to adhere to them securely. While dental bridges are successful as a tooth replacement option, the disadvantage of fixed dental bridges are that they require adjacent teeth to be damaged in order to provide a replacement for the missing tooth. Once these teeth are filed down, they may be more subject to bacterial infection, decay and periodontal disease, which may require a costly root canal to resolve.
What’s the price difference between dental implants and bridges?
The initial investment of dental bridges is more economical than dental implants; however, the total costs over time of a dental implants versus a dental bridge is a different story. If the patient is a candidate, dental implants may be the more cost-effective option of the two due to the increased risk of dental issues that can result in costly bills down the road. When comparing cost and value, dental implants are the better treatment option.