One of the most common questions our dentists hear is “What’s the difference between an implant and a bridge?” Whilst visually they do not have that many differences, and they are classed in a similar way (permanent, non-removable replacements for missing teeth), there are actually some small difference. We take a look:
How they’re attached:
This may be the biggest difference. Both can help to maintain your natural face shape, restore your smile, and allow you to speak more clearly and easily. However, a dental bridge is bonded onto surrounding teeth as a method of support. The pro’s of this are that the bridge can be fitted immediately, and this is a non-surgical procedure. The down side is that often the surrounding teeth need to be manipulated in order to take the supports for the bridge. This often involves being shaped or ground down.
On the other hand, dental implants are secured directly into the jaw bone, which is a surgical procedure. The surrounding teeth are not required at all to keep the implant in place, and the dental implant is classed as a “stand-alone” fixture. Sometimes dental implants can take a few months for the whole procedure to be completed, as it needs to be done in stages. So whilst it isn’t an “immediate fix”, dental implants are incredibly strong and durable, and it can last for many years.
This is where we can see a bit of a difference. Although prices may differ dependent on your individual situation, the cost of a dental implant is around the cost of a high-end bridge. Whilst the costs do differ between treatments, you would be advised to look at the greater picture. A well-fitted dental implant can typically last 2-5 times as long as a dental bridge, which can make it more cost effective in the long term.
If you have missing teeth, you can book a free consultation with one of our dental experts, who will assess your situation, and give you all of the information you need to make an informed decision about the best treatment for you.