difference between bridge and implant

Differences Between a Dental Bridge and Implant

When you have missing teeth, bridges and implants can restore a confident smile. It’s always important to replace missing teeth in order to prevent infections and keep your mouth healthy. If you want to achieve a full smile and better oral health, the experts at Lifetime Family Dental can help. Read on to learn more about restorative dentistry and the difference between a bridge and an implant.

What is a Dental Bridge?

Dentists typically suggest dental bridges if you already have crowns on the teeth that surround a gap. A dental bridge is simply a false tooth that attaches to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth gap. 

Benefits of Dental Bridges

  • They don’t require invasive surgery.
  • Insurance is more likely to cover them.
  • They involve fewer visits to the dentist.
  • Recovery time is faster.

Cons of Dental Bridges

  • They aren’t as durable as implants.
  • Bridges typically need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years.
  • They don’t look as natural over time.
  • Bridges might cause damage to the surrounding teeth.

Types of Dental Bridges

All dental bridges require natural teeth on either side of your missing tooth gap. The components that make up a dental bridge are simple. The false tooth that fills the gap is called a pontic, and the supporting teeth on either side are called abutment teeth. 

There are four different types of dental bridges:

  1. Traditional dental bridges cement crowns to the abutment teeth in order to hold the pontic in place. 
  2. Cantilever dental bridges only cement a crown to one abutment tooth.
  3. Maryland dental bridges use metal or porcelain framework on the abutment teeth in place of crowns. 
  4. Implant-supported bridges are a cross between an implant and a bridge. Implants support the bridge instead of crowns or metal framework. Implant-supported bridges best restore back teeth or replace at least three adjacent missing teeth. 

What is a Dental Implant?

For a more stable foundation, dental implants replace missing teeth from the root. Implant procedures involve several steps. First, your dentist inserts a small screw into your jawbone. Then, after your jaw has healed and the screw has fused, your dentist replaces the missing tooth with a crown. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • They are more durable than bridges.
  • Implants don’t damage the surrounding teeth.
  • They stay natural-looking longer.
  • Implants are the longest lasting option.

Cons of Dental Implants

  • Insurance is less likely to cover implants.
  • They require invasive surgical procedures.
  • The overall process and recovery time takes longer.
  • They may result in surgical complications.

Types of Dental Implants

The type of implant you require depends on how many teeth need replacing. Receiving a dental implant is a painless procedure, but it is a surgery and it can take some time to recover.

Aside from an implant-supported bridge, there are two types of dental implants:

  1. Single dental implants are the best solution for one missing tooth or missing teeth that are not adjacent. 
  2. An implant-retained denture replaces all of your upper or lower teeth. Unlike typical dentures, implant-retained dentures permanently secure to the jaw.

Dental Restoration in Gilbert

Bridges and implants are both effective, long-lasting solutions for missing teeth. Knowing the difference between bridges and implants can help you decide which restorative procedure is right for you. At Lifetime Family Dental, we offer both bridges and implants. Call 480-409-5863 today to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/17/2021). Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay