Bridge vs Implant

Implants save teeth: Using a bridge can endanger the teeth used to hold it up. In contrast, an implant does not damage its neighboring teeth and has a better success rate.

Bridge vs Implant

There are advantages and disadvantages to both ways of restoring a missing tooth.
The main advantage of bridgework is the speed and facility with which the missing tooth can be replaced.
However the disadvantages are numerous:
  1. There is a limit to how many teeth can be reasonably be replaced by a bridge.
  2.  If there are no adjacent teeth to the space bridges cannot be used.
  3.  If the adjacent teeth have no restoration it means cutting them down to crown them.
  4.  Once a tooth is crowned then the prognosis of the tooth is reduced. A proportion of these teeth go on to need root canal treatment in the future.
  5.  When bridges fail it usually means one or two further teeth that used to support the bridge have to be removed making the space even bigger.
The overwhelming advantage of implants is the fact that they save the adjacent teeth.
There are in addition many advantages:
  1. It means the adjacent teeth can remain undisturbed.
  2. Implants can be used to replace any number of teeth.
  3. They can be used to make a denture more stable.
  4. Implants can be used to support bridges so when many teeth are missing it is not always necessary to replace each missing tooth with an implant.
  5.  Implants have a good long term prognosis provided the patient practices good oral hygiene and has regular maintenance.
  6.  If an implant fails, it can be removed, the site grafted and a new implant placed without making the space bigger or affecting adjacent teeth.
  7.  Implants are not susceptible to tooth decay.
  8.  If the bone and gum conditions are good a missing tooth can be replaced with an implant in a matter of a few months or sometimes even less.
  9.  If there is not enough bone or gum to support the implants this can be reconstructed with fairly straightforward and predictable techniques.
  10.  It can sometimes be very similar in cost to a bridge 
The main disadvantages of implants are that they involve a surgical procedure and all that goes with it.
  1. It can take more time to complete the treatment than a bridge. This is particularly true if there is a bone defect that needs treatment.
  2.  It can sometimes be more costly than a bridge.
  3.  It requires additional training and experience on the part of the Dental Surgeon.
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