With the growing popularity of dental implants, more and more patients are coming to our offices to ask about them. For many people, they provide an alternative to bridgework that has a couple of long-term advantages. That does not mean that they are better for everyone, though. Whether or not you should go for implants or dental bridgework is a decision that takes a careful review of your overall health.
When Implants Have the Advantage
Dental implants are anchored in the bone of the jaw, so they require a certain amount of bone to be present and a certain amount of healthy gum tissue to help support them. If you have recently lost one or more teeth and you have no other oral health complications, then implants provide a solution that is both aesthetically pleasing and permanent.
When Bridges Work Out Better
Bridge work eventually needs to be replaced, but it is ideal for patients whose bone density or mass is likely to change, or who have lost significant amounts of tissue to gum disease. This includes patients with conditions like:
Since the bridge is not reliant on the bone to anchor it, patients with these conditions will find that it more successfully replicates their original aesthetic while providing a durable replacement for any missing teeth.
Implants do tend to be a little more expensive up front than dental bridges, but since they are most often permanent, they often cost less over the patient’s lifetime than bridgework. These differences make an exact cost comparison difficult, as the frequency of bridge replacements varies from patient to patient.