south perth logo
South Perth Dental Surgery

The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants vs Bridges: Choosing the Right One for Your Smile

There are a few things to consider regarding dental restoration options. Individuals who have lost a tooth may inquire about their tooth replacement options. Two popular options are dental implants and dental bridges. While both procedures can restore your smile, they have distinct differences that may impact your decision.

Firstly, let’s talk about dental implants. A tooth implant is a titanium post surgically inserted into your jawbone, fusing with the bone to create a stable foundation for a replacement tooth. This option is popular because it doesn’t require adjacent healthy teeth to be shaved down as a dental bridge does. Dental implants are known for their longevity and durability, often lasting for decades with proper care.

On the other hand, dental bridges are a replacement option that involves creating a false tooth (or teeth) anchored to the adjacent healthy teeth on either side of the gap. This procedure requires filing down healthy teeth, which may not be suitable for all individuals. However, dental bridges are often less expensive than dental implants and can be completed in a shorter amount of time.

Both dental implants and dental bridges involve placing a replacement tooth or teeth capped with a dental crown to create a natural-looking smile. However, the decision between the two options ultimately comes down to bone density, cost, and personal preference.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of dental implants and dental bridges in more detail so that you can decide which dental restoration option is right for you and your smile.

  • Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into the jawbone, while bridges consist of a false tooth attached to adjacent teeth.

  • Dental implants have a higher success rate, are more durable, and look and function like natural teeth.

  • Bridges are cheaper, require less time for the entire procedure, and may be more suitable for patients with specific dental health conditions.

  • Patients with healthy gums and sufficient jawbone growth may be better suited for dental implant procedures.

  • Patients with weakened teeth, gums, or insufficient jawbone density may be better suited for dental bridge procedures.

  • Patients should weigh the pros and cons of dental implants and bridges to make the soundest decision for their unique situation, factors to consider include oral health, budget, and personal preferences.
South Perth Dental Surgery

Understanding Dental Implants and Bridges

Dental implants and bridges are popular dental restoration options for people with tooth loss or damage. These procedures effectively replace missing teeth and restore one’s smile, but they have different methods and processes. Let’s explore the concept of dental implants and bridges and their unique features.

Dental implants are artificial teeth that replace a missing tooth root. They are surgically implanted into the jawbone, fusing with the bone and providing a stable foundation for a replacement tooth. With proper care and maintenance, implants are a long-term option that can last many years.

On the other hand, dental bridges are a fixed dental restoration option that involves placing a replacement tooth or teeth between healthy teeth. They can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth in a row. Bridges are anchored to adjacent teeth and are a non-invasive procedure.

Dental implant surgery involves installing a dental implant, which can take several months to complete. On the other hand, dental bridges can be installed in as few as two appointments, with shorter treatment times for replacing missing teeth.

Dental implants and bridges offer various advantages. Implants are designed to mimic natural teeth and have a similar look, feel, and function. They also help to prevent bone loss in the jaw, which can occur after tooth loss. Bridges, however, are an ideal option for those with healthy teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. They are also a cost-effective treatment option compared to dental implants.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums before dental restoration is essential, as this can help secure a successful procedure. Regular check-ups and cleaning are crucial to keep teeth healthy and catch any issues early on.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Implants and Bridges

Deciding between dental implants and bridges requires careful consideration. There are many factors to consider, including cost, durability, and overall oral health. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding between these two options:

  • Cost:
    Dental implants are more expensive than bridges but last longer. A bridge is a more affordable option in the short term, but it may need to be replaced in the future, which can add to the overall cost.

  • Durability:
    Dental implants are a more durable option than bridges. They are designed to last many years, even decades, and are more damage-resistant than bridges. This means dental implants may be a better choice for people looking for a long-term replacement for missing teeth.

  • Overall oral health:
    Dental implants can help maintain the mouth’s overall health, as they are anchored directly into the jawbone. This can help to prevent bone loss and maintain the shape and structure of the face. Bridges may stress the surrounding teeth and gums more, directing to further oral health problems.
South Perth Dental Surgery

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement option for those who have experienced a lost tooth due to decay, injury or periodontal disease. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone and act as an anchor for a replacement tooth or bridge. Here are some of the dental implant advantages:

  • Long-lasting:
    Dental implants are designed to last many years with proper care. Unlike traditional dentures and bridges, dental implants need not be replaced every few years.

  • Natural-looking:
    Dental implants are designed to look and feel like natural teeth. The replacement tooth or bridge is custom-made to match the shape, size and colour of your existing teeth, making it virtually impossible to tell the difference.

  • Improved speech:
    Missing teeth can cause speech difficulties, especially if they are in the front of the mouth. Dental implants can help improve speech by filling in gaps and allowing for clearer pronunciation.

  • Enhanced comfort:
    Dental implants eliminate the discomfort and inconvenience of traditional dentures and bridges. Since the implants are anchored in the jawbone, there is no risk of slippage or movement, making them a more comfortable and secure option.

  • Improved oral health:
    Dental implants can help improve oral health by preventing bone loss and gum recession when teeth are missing. Unlike traditional dentures and bridges, dental implants do not require adjacent teeth to be ground down, which can compromise their long-term health.

  • Improved chewing and eating:
    Dental implants are strong and stable, allowing for better chewing and eating capabilities. This can help improve overall nutrition and digestion.

  • Improved self-esteem:
    Dental implants can improve self-esteem by restoring a natural-looking smile and allowing individuals to feel more confident in their appearance.

Potential Drawbacks of Dental Implants

Despite their many advantages, there are also potential downsides to choosing dental bridges. Here are some possible disadvantages you should be aware of before making a decision:

  • Risk of tooth decay:
    Because dental bridges are anchored to adjacent teeth, the teeth that support the bridge are more vulnerable to decay and gum disease. This is because they can be difficult to clean thoroughly, resulting in plaque and bacteria buildup.

  • Increased sensitivity:
    Some patients may experience increased sensitivity in the teeth supporting the bridge. This is because preparing the teeth for the bridge can damage the nerve endings in the teeth, making them more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. In some cases, this sensitivity can be managed with desensitising toothpaste, but the bridge may need to be adjusted or replaced in more severe cases.

  • Potential for damage to adjacent teeth:
    Preparing the neighbouring teeth for a dental bridge involves extracting some of the enamel from the teeth. This can weaken the teeth and increase the risk of cracking or other damage. In some cases, the adjacent teeth may need to be restored with crowns to provide additional support.

  • Risk of gum disease:
    If dental bridges are not properly fitted or maintained, they can increase the risk of gum disease. Food and bacteria can become trapped under the bridge, causing inflammation and infection.

  • Shorter lifespan:
    Dental bridges can last many years with proper care, but they have a shorter lifespan than dental implants. Bridges may need to be replaced every 5-15 years, depending on the quality of the bridge and how well it is maintained.

Suitability for Dental Implants or Bridges

Regarding dental restoration options, dental implants and bridges are two common choices for people with missing teeth. But which one is better for you? Here are some factors that may determine if dental implants or bridges are the right choices for your needs:

  • Jawbone density:
    Dental implants require a certain amount of jawbone density to support the implant post. A bone graft may be necessary before implant placement if a person has significant bone loss. Bridges, on the other hand, do not require as much jawbone density.

  • The number of missing teeth:
    Implants are a better option for individuals with one or a few missing teeth. Bridges are more suitable for those who have several missing teeth in a row, as they can span the gap between healthy teeth.

  • Oral hygiene:
    Implants require good oral hygiene habits to avoid infection and provide long-term success. Bridges require similar hygiene habits but may be easier to clean as they are fixed dental appliances.

  • Age:
    Younger individuals may benefit more from dental implants, as they can provide a longer-lasting option. Bridges may be a more suitable alternative to implants for elderly individuals.

  • Lifestyle factors:
    Individuals who participate in contact sports or have certain habits, such as teeth grinding, may be better suited for bridges, as they are less likely to sustain damage than implants.

  • Cost:
    Bridges may be more cost-effective, especially for replacing several missing teeth. However, implants may be a better long-term investment as they can last several years with proper care.

The Aesthetic Factor: Implants vs Bridges

Dental implants are known for their natural appearance, resembling real teeth. The implant is made of titanium and is surgically implanted into the jawbone, serving as a sturdy prosthetic tooth base.

Bridges, on the other hand, rely on the adjacent teeth for support. A bridge consists of a prosthetic tooth anchored to the adjacent teeth with dental crowns. While bridges can effectively restore function and prevent further dental problems, they may not look as natural as implants.

The aesthetic factor is significant in front teeth, where appearance is significant. Dental implants are often the preferred option in these cases, as they can provide a more natural-looking result.

Assessing the Impact on Surrounding Teeth

Dental implants are a popular way to replace missing teeth. They’re surgically implanted into the jawbone, which fuses to the implant over time. This fusion provides incredible stability and strength to the implant, making it function like a natural tooth.

However, dental implants can impact adjacent teeth by placing stress on them. The pressure from the implant’s artificial tooth can cause the neighbouring teeth to shift and move. Over time, this can lead to misalignment or even damage to the teeth, causing pain and discomfort.

A bridge is another option for tooth replacement, where adjacent natural teeth support an artificial tooth. While this procedure doesn’t require surgical intervention, it can also impact the neighbouring teeth.

To support the bridge, the adjacent teeth need to be shaped and filed down, which can weaken them. This alteration can make them more susceptible to decay or other dental problems. Additionally, the bridge can place extra pressure on these teeth, directing them to wear and tear over time.

Making an Informed Decision for Your Smile

Making an informed decision is crucial, and it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of both options to find the right one for your unique situation.

Several dental implant advantages include a durable replacement that looks and feels like natural teeth. They are also easier to maintain than bridges since they don’t require any special cleaning. Plus, they help prevent bone loss in the jaw and keep adjacent teeth from shifting.

On the other hand, there are dental bridge benefits, too, that cannot be outweighed. They are a more affordable option and can be completed in less time than dental implants. Additionally, they don’t require the surgical procedure that implants do.

When deciding between dental implants and bridges, it’s essential to consider your oral health and lifestyle. Dental implants may be better for you if you have good oral health and don’t mind a longer, more involved process. However, bridges may be better if you’re looking for a more affordable option that doesn’t require surgery.

It’s also important to consult a dentist to discuss your options thoroughly. They can evaluate your unique situation, provide you with all the information you need, and help you make the most suitable decision for your smile. They can help you weigh the dental implant advantages and dental bridge benefits that suit your needs and lifestyle.

Final Thoughts

After weighing the pros and cons of dental implants vs bridges, it is clear that both options have advantages and disadvantages. The decision should be based on the individual’s unique needs and circumstances.

Choosing between dental implants and bridges is personal and should be made in consultation with a dental professional. By considering factors such as budget, health status, and personal preferences, individuals can make an informed decision leading to a healthier smile.

If you’re looking for a dental clinic that can provide high-quality dental implants or bridges, look no further than South Perth Dental Surgery. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable dentists are committed to providing our patients with personalised care that meets your unique needs and budget. So if you’re ready to take the next step towards a healthier and more confident smile, book an appointment with South Perth Dental Surgery today. Our friendly dental team is ready to help you achieve the smile of your dreams with dental implants or bridges.


Call Us Today to Schedule Your Dental Appointment

South Perth Dental Surgery has been providing high-quality dental care to families for over 30 years. Our team of experienced dentists offer extensive world-class services and stays current with the latest dental technology so we can help keep your smile looking great.
Make an appointment with us today and see what we have to offer!