Dental Implant | Treatment by Top Implant Surgeons

If you are confused between dental bridges or dental implants, then here is a complete guide

Dental Implant | Treatment by Top Implant Surgeons

Dental Bridge Vs Implant

What’s better for you, Dental Bridge or Dental implant? Ask Dr Alan Sidi

Dental Bridge or Dental Implant?

A burning question for individuals looking forward to replacing their missing or extracted tooth or teeth. Partial knowledge about both the treatments can create obvious confusions that lead to unnecessary frustration and wrong decisions. Therefore, instead of taking any decision on your own, leave the job to the experts – contact an experienced dentist.

Just like millions of other people, if you too are confused between what is the best way to regain your missing tooth or teeth, then this is the time to contact Dr Alan Sidi, and decide which treatment is right for you – Dental Bridge or Dental Implant.

First, let’s differentiate between, what is a Dental Bridge and what is a Dental Implant

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a common dental restoration that replaces a missing tooth or teeth by literally bridging the gap they left behind.

A fixed dental bridge is permanently cemented into place and can only be removed by the dentist. It consists of one or more artificial teeth commonly known as “Pontics” in the middle and one or more anchoring crown medically termed as ‘’Abutment” teeth on either sides. The pontics are made from gold, porcelain, zirconia, alloys, etc., and their job is to fill the space; whereas, the job of abutment teeth is to protect the natural teeth next to the gap, griping the bridge in place.

During the treatment, to attach the bridge to the adjacent natural teeth, the natural teeth are shaved or filed down to create the necessary space for the crowns to perfectly align with opposing teeth and to create required surface area to allow a strong connection. The success ratio of this process entirely depends on the health of your natural teeth. Therefore, before you opt for the dental bridge treatment, make sure your teeth are in a healthy state (structurally sound and free from any diseases). The biggest drawback of this process is that it is irrevocable. It means, once the natural teeth are altered as per the requirement, they cannot be used as regular teeth again.

If the treatment requirement is to replace more than three consecutive teeth, then removal or fixed partial denture is the right option for you. A Cantilever bridge is the option when there is no possible space to place a crown on both sides of a gap. This type of bridge is anchored by one or two crowns located on only one side of the gap.

The Maryland or the Resin-Bonded bridge is another type of dental bridge. In this type of dental bridge, the pontics have wings on both sides which are bonded onto the back surfaces of the adjacent teeth using a composite resin cement. These bridges are not strong; hence, they fall-out or pop-off if exposed to the excess force or due to wear and tear.

Advantages of Dental Bridge

The advantages of selecting include:
  • Dental bridge looks very natural
  • Dental bridge is a straightforward procedure
  • Dental bridge is affordable
  • Dental bridge includes low risk
  • Dental bridge process is fast

Dental bridge looks very natural

A bridge can be used to enhance the colour and shape of the teeth being covered up or replaced. When made out of modern porcelain, they look very sophisticated. A skilled dentist can create a bridge that closely resembles to the natural translucencies and multiple shades in natural teeth.

Dental bridge is a straightforward process

Dental bridge treatment is a very simple and straightforward missing tooth or teeth replacement process. It is a very common tooth replacement therapy and a routine procedure for many dentists.

Dental bridge is affordable

Compared to other missing tooth replacement therapies, dental bridge costs around £550 - £1,100 per unit.

Dental bridge includes low risk

If a bridge fails, crowns and pontics can be replaced relatively quickly and painlessly.

Dental bridge process is fast

Other teeth replacement treatments may take 5-6 months, whereas the entire dental bridge process can usually be completed in a few weeks.

Disadvantages of Dental Bridges

The main disadvantages of having a dental bridge are:
  • Damage natural teeth
  • Damage nerves
  • High risk of decay and cavities
  • Difficulty in cleaning
  • Need to be replaced periodically

Damage natural teeth

A dental bridge is a damaging treatment for the healthy neighbouring teeth. In order to make space for the bridge, a considerable amount of tooth structure from neighbouring teeth is removed. Once the natural teeth are damaged, these teeth can never again be used as regular teeth and must always be crowned.

Damage nerves

During the dental bridge treatment, when a tooth is prepared for an alone, part or a full crown, 1–15% lose vitality (i.e. the nerve dies) and will need a root canal treatment in the future. Hence, dental bridge therapy not only damages the natural teeth, but it also damages the nerves underneath.

High risk of decay and cavities

In a dental bridge treatment, adjacent teeth are damaged up to a certain extent, and this increases the chances of decay and cavities. Even in the near future, you might need a root canal treatment because of damaged tooth structure.

Difficulty in cleaning

After a dental bridge treatment, extra efforts are required to keep the underside of the bridge neat and clean. In case, you don’t pay attention towards cleaning, then there are higher chances of plaque formation. As the artificial tooth is tightly attached to the neighbouring teeth, it is not possible to floss in the normal way and super floss is needed.

Need to be replaced periodically

Dental bridges come with an expiry date; hence, they need to be replaced periodically – usually every 5 - 7 years.

Bridges vs Implants Comparison
  Bridges Implants
How long they last 5 – 7 years 15+ years
Insurance coverage Covered by most plans Rarely covered
Long-term dental health Some bone / gum loss Little to no bone / gum loss
Oral hygiene Need special floss & brush Brush and floss like normal
Appearance Very natural Best possible aesthetics
Procedure duration 2 – 3 visits over a few weeks Multiple visits over 3 – 6 months

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is considered as one of the best and most predictable missing tooth or teeth replacement procedures available today. Made of titanium, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root that attaches to the jawbone and supports a crown. An Implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone so that it firmly anchors the position. At the end of the osseointegration (fusion) process, an abutment is attached to the root. After healing, a permanent crown is made and attached to the implant. In the case of several missing teeth, one or more implants can secure a bridge or dentures.

Advantages of Dental Implants

There are plenty of advantages of why dental implants are the first choice of dentists when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Here are some of the top advantages of dental implants:
  • Implants guarantee long-term solution to missing teeth
  • Implants help you retain your natural face shape and smile
  • Implants guarantee healthy, natural looking teeth
  • Implants inhibit the chances of cavities
  • Implant is the most predictable restoration method
  • Implants protect your jawbone
  • Implants allow you enjoy without worrying about your teeth
  • Implants protect surrounding teeth
  • Implants allow you speak, talk and laugh naturally

Implants guarantee a long-term solution to missing teeth

There are alternative treatments for missing teeth such as dental bridges and dentures, but both these treatments come with an expiry date. Even if you adhere to a strict maintenance routine, bridges and dentures won’t last more than 10 years. At some point of time, you may need to replace your bridges or dentures. However, the scenario is totally different with dental implants. If you follow a daily maintenance and care routine, they can last a lifetime.

Implants help you retain your natural face shape and smile

In the absence of teeth, your face may appear sunken, sad and ugly. An implant is a rigid solution to missing teeth that allow you to uplift the natural shape of your face and smile.

Implants guarantee healthy, natural looking teeth

Dental implants guarantee strong and stable teeth that look, feel, work and fit like natural teeth. An implant looks so natural that it is hard to distinguish between the natural and artificial teeth. Alternative treatments such as dentures and bridges can lead to bone deterioration, and may hinder the day to day activities such as eating, talking and laughing. Whereas implants fuse with the jawbone and protect adjacent teeth.

Implants inhibit the chances of cavities

There is little or no chance of cavity growth in an implant-restored crown or replacement tooth because it is artificial. Nevertheless, you should still visit your family dentist regularly for a routine care and clean-up process of your gums and mouth.

Implants - The most predictable restoration method

Dental implants hold a proven track record of being the most successful, reliable, and long-lasting missing teeth replacement therapy. It is often considered “More Predictable” than other missing teeth replacement treatment to replace or repair missing teeth.

Implants protect your jawbone

When you lose teeth due to one or the other reason, the gap or void created can lead to serious health consequences such as the loss and deterioration of your jawbone. If the open space created due to missing teeth is not supported by anything, the jawbone deteriorates, losing its firmness and strength. A dental implant is the only missing tooth replacement therapy that protects the jawbone and stimulates the natural bone growth. It prevents the bone deteriorations and inhibits bone loss.

Implants allow you enjoy without worrying about your teeth

Implants are highly comfortable and natural looking; hence, you don’t need to stay home, feel uncomfortable in public places, feel embarrassed because of your smile, or need to worry about your missing teeth. Implants let you enjoy without worrying about your teeth. Implants also allow you to eat whatever you want without worrying about them breaking.

Implants protect surrounding teeth

In an alternative missing tooth replacement treatment, such as tooth-supported bridges, dentists grind away the adjacent teeth on both sides of the missing tooth – thereby damaging healthy teeth to restore that are missing. Dental implants go in the jawbone of the missing tooth without damaging the adjacent healthy teeth. Additionally, implants also prevent the shifting of healthy adjacent teeth.

Implants allow you speak, talk and laugh naturally

Dental implants keep the teeth where they belong; hence, you don’t need to worry about your teeth slipping or falling out of your mouth. You can brush, floss and care for your teeth exactly the way you would do with your natural teeth. Moreover, it also lets you enjoy speaking, eating and laughing naturally.

Disadvantages of Dental Implants

  • Implants need a minor surgical procedure
  • Implants need multiple appointments
  • Implants are expensive
  • Implants may feel dead
  • Implants involve a risk of mechanical fracture of fixtures & bridges

Implants need a minor surgical procedure

There will be a need for a minor surgical procedure for implant placement. Moreover, it requires a healing period before the prosthesis may be completed.

Implants need multiple appointments

The dental implant procedure may take many months from start to finish – typically between 3 – 9 months and sometimes more depending upon the medical condition of a patient. In this timespan, most of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of the jawbone.

Implants are expensive

Compared to other traditional missing tooth or teeth replacement therapies, a dental implant is a bit expensive treatment. A single implant may cost around £2,200 (including abutment and crown). For more information on pricing, better consult your family dentist.

Implants may feel dead

Dental implants are made of titanium; hence, you may feel nothing in the area where the implants are placed as they do not have any nerves.

Implants involve a risk of mechanical fracture of fixtures & bridges

As there are no shock-absorbers within the implants, there is a risk of dental implant failure or mechanical fractures of bridges and crowns. Fortunately, reported occurrences are less than 5% of patients.

Dental Bridges or Dental Implant? Factors to Consider

Here’s a list of the factors that you should consider when deciding between a dental bridge or dental implant:
  • Which treatment offers better Insurance coverage?
  • Which treatment lasts long?
  • Which treatment is good for long term oral health?
  • Which treatment is better for the oral hygiene?
  • Which treatment is appearing more natural?
  • Which treatment takes more time?

Which treatment offers better Insurance coverage?

Most insurance plans cover dental bridges; hence, you can easily reclaim a considerable percentage of the cost. On the other hand, very few insurance plans cover dental implants. However, you may be able to claim at least a part of the cost of the crown involved in an implant.

Which treatment lasts long?

Compared to dental bridges, dental implants offer a long-term solution. You may need to replace the crown every 10 – 15 years due to wear and tear, but an implant itself is a long lasting solution. Bridges, on the other hand, typically last for approximately 5 – 7 years, but they can last up to 10+ years by practicing a strict oral care routine.

Which treatment is good for long term oral health?

In a dental bridge treatment, a considerable amount of damage is done to neighbouring teeth; hence, this treatment is less preferable. Moreover, there are chances of cavities and decay. Whereas, implants do not damage any bone or root. In fact, it stimulates the bone growth and preserves the adjacent natural teeth and gums.

Which treatment is better for the oral hygiene?

After dental bridges, you may require a special type of floss and probably other oral hygiene products and tools to clean underneath the pontics of a bridge and keep the area plaque-free. Whereas, if you go for dental implants, you don’t need to buy any special oral hygiene products because it can be brushed and flossed as if it were your natural teeth.   

Which treatment is appearing more natural?

Modern bridges appear quite natural, but as gum tissues and bone are lost over time, gaps can open up underneath the pontics. Compared to bridges or any other missing tooth or teeth replacement therapies, dental implants provide the highest-quality aesthetic results.

Which treatment takes more time?

From start to finish, dental bridges require approximately 2 – 4 visits over the span of a few weeks. On the other hand, implants require multiple visits over the course of 3 – 6 months. Exact procedure time also depends on many other factors such as the strength of the jawbone; hence, consult a dentist for exact information.

Front Tooth Implant at Dr. Alan Sidi’s Practice

When it comes to dental implant treatment in London, our warm and caring team will ensure to make your treatment as pleasant as possible. In practice since 1989, we have been committed to delivering the best-quality treatments for gum disease and dental implant surgery. Over the years, we have placed over two thousand successful dental implants and completed numerous stable cases with grafted bone.

Our support staff as well go out of their way to offer a welcoming, comfortable and safe atmosphere, and an efficient service.

For that reason, if you are looking for a missing front tooth replacement treatment or multiple teeth replacement therapy in London, just get in touch with an experienced dental surgeon today. From single tooth replacement to extensive reconstruction and replacement of several or even all teeth, we offer the healthiest and most intelligent treatment solutions. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to help you deal with the implant treatment.

Why Dr Alan Sidi’s Practice?

  • Over 25 years of extensive specialist experience
  • An exceptional team
  • Over two thousand implants placed
  • Over a thousand sinus and augmentation cases
  • Close collaboration with the best dentists