If you lose one or more of your teeth, you need to know the best method of replacing them within the shortest time possible. By having your missing teeth replaced, you will not only get back your self-confidence and smile but also reduce the adverse effects lost teeth have on your jawbone, gums and your remaining teeth. In this article, we compare the two most common methods of teeth replacement, – dental bridges and dental implants.
A dental bridge refers to a common dental restoration technique that is used to replace one or more teeth by actually bridging gap that has been left behind by the missing teeth. The artificial tooth, also known as the pontic, is attached to the adjacent tooth or teeth by either a crown or a small wing. Dental bridges are best used by patients wishing to replace single missing teeth.
Simply put, a dental implant refers to a false tooth root made from titanium which connects to the jawbone and at the same time supports a crown. After it has been inserted via a short surgical procedure, it is important that the titanium post integrates or fuses with the jawbone. This ensures that it firmly anchors in position. After the completion of the osseointegration process, an abutment gets attached to the implant. The abutment will protrude above the gum line and provides the surface which the dental crown will be cemented or screwed onto.
• Natural look: bridges can often be used to improve the shape and colour of the teeth being replaced. Modern porcelain is very sophisticated and requires a skilled dental professional to fabricate a bridge that closely mimics natural translucencies as well as multiple shades that are incorporated in natural tooth structure.
• Affordability: A traditional bridge costs around £450- £950 per unit.
• Fast: the process is fast and can often be finished in just a few weeks.
• Low risk: In case a bridge fails, pontics, if attached with a wing, can be replaced quickly and painlessly.
• Straightforward procedure: bridges are a very common solution to the problem of tooth loss and are also routine procedures dentists.
While bridges may appear initially more affordable compared to implants, implants tend to be the more cost-effective option in the long term. The cost of an implant is determined by the following factors:
• Surgery complexity
• The number and type of teeth that are being replaced
• Material and brand of abutment post and crown, as some brands have more experience and research evidence behind their individual, usually patented designs
The cost of dental implants
Every case is different but an average cost for a single implant would be around £1850 – £2500. This includes the abutment and crown. Where it is used for supporting a bridge, the fee for implant retained bridges depends upon the length of the span of the bridge..
Which one should you choose?
There is some evidence to show dental implants can last longer than dental bridges, and it also can give more aesthetically pleasing results. Although they are initially costly, they can provide a well fitting, long-term and visually pleasing dental restoration. Viewed in the longer term they actually cost less since they are not normally replaced as frequently as dental bridges.
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