A dental bridge consists of as many as 3 artificial teeth in a row attached to your real teeth on either side. An implant is usually attached directly to a jawbone graft, and mimics the way a real organic tooth looks and feels.
Which is better; the less invasive option (bridge), or the difficult one that (arguably) gets you a better end result (implants)? In this article, we’ll give you the answer with 4 important points you need to consider. The first is…
Bridges are a lot easier to get – and, if your teeth have been missing for a while, may be the best option due to your jawbone wearing down (which happens when you lose teeth). The downside to bridges is that they don’t work quite as well, e.g. you won’t be able to floss or chew hard foods with yours.
Implants are, of course, a lot more functional – in that they mimic the effect your natural teeth work. The downside to implants is that they can be invasive and expensive to get – and require the artificial thickening of jawbone tissue through surgery in certain cases.
Implants are made from materials like titanium and aluminium, then fused to your jawbone. This means there’s very little risk of decay, gum problems and the body rejecting the implant. With an implant, expect it to live for as long as you do. Bridges are fairly durable, lasting an average of 10 years, but will not last you a lifetime.
An implant doesn’t just function like a natural tooth – it can be made to look like one. This is why implants are usually the better choice for front teeth that everyone can see when you smile. Bridges can be highly realistic – but not quite as visually pleasing as an implant, especially when a bridge carries numerous artificial teeth.
Bridges are significantly cheaper than implants in the short run – but considering you may need to replace a bridge 3-4 times in your lifetime, the price difference is a lot smaller than you might assume.
All in all, both implants and dental bridges are great options for replacing missing teeth. We recommend bridges for older people who don’t respond well to long surgeries; for younger people who can afford them, implants are the better-looking, longer-lasting and higher-performing option.