Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridge?

Temecula Facial Oral Surgery — Dmitry Y. Tsvetov, DDS, MD

In this video Dr. Dmitry Y. Tsvetov, DDS, MD discusses advantages of the dental implant over dental bridge

When a single tooth is missing, there are three main options the patient can choose: either do nothing, and walk around with a missing tooth, or get a dental bridge to replace a missing tooth, or get an implant. Each one of these options has certain advantages and disadvantages, so let’s look at each one in more detail. If patient chooses to walk around with a missing tooth, that definitely would save a patient some money—but, compromise esthetics and function as the tooth is missing. If the patient chooses to have a bridge, the advantage is that the missing tooth is replaced and the esthetics and function are restored. However, did you know that the patient will continue to lose the bone where the tooth was extracted? That the long-term health of adjacent teeth will be compromised, because dental bridge requires enamel removal of adjacent teeth? That the adjacent teeth will likely need root canal treatments or be extracted in the future? That this bridge will likely need to be replaced 3-4 times over the patient’s lifetime as the average lifespan of a dental bridge is only 10 years? That the replacement costs for the single dental bridge will likely total close to $10000 over the patient’s lifetime?

Ok, let’s look at the other option: replacing the missing tooth with a dental implant. Esthetics and function are restored just as with a dental bridge. However, the bone is preserved, the adjacent teeth are not being cut down into pegs and their long-term health is not compromised. Sure, the upfront cost is slightly higher than for the bridge at about $4500, but…The implant will likely not need to be replaced over the patient’s lifetime! So, long term costs of the implant are actually better when compared to a conventional bridge therapy. Not to mention all the added benefits of having stable, healthy, preserved bone and not cutting down healthy teeth.

So, your dentist would very likely inform you of all your options and allow you, the patient make an educated decision about what is best for you as a patient. Did you know that two thirds of patients would have chosen dental implants over the dental bridge therapy if they knew that dental implants are an available option? After all, that is the best way to replace the missing teeth. What choice will you make?