At some point in your life, you may need to have one or more teeth replaced. Should you choose a bridge or implant? Both options have a long history as reliable tooth replacements, but each has advantage and disadvantages.
An implant is an “anchor” surgically inserted into the jawbone that serves as a stable base for an artificial replacement tooth.
Implant surgery is a three-step process performed in your dentist’s office that can take five to nine months or longer, depending on how long your mouth takes to heal after each step.
A traditional bridge is a permanent dental prosthetic. It consists of two crowns with an artificial tooth in the middle that replaces a missing tooth. The crowns and artificial tooth can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of materials, and are made in a laboratory as one piece.
The teeth on either side of the artificial tooth are shaped (filed) by the dentist to place crowns on them.
The dentist cements the bridge into your mouth.
If your tooth has been missing for a long time, a bridge might be a better option because your jaw may not be able to properly secure an implant. You may be able to get a bone graft to enable your jawbone to hold an implant, but this procedure will require additional time and cost.
A bridge is generally less expensive than an implant. As with any major procedure, find out what your dental plan covers — many plans will pay for a bridge but not an implant. Ask your dentist to submit a pre-treatment estimate to us so you’ll know your out-of-pocket costs in advance.
Last updated September 21, 2021
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.