The two leading methods of replacing a missing tooth are dental implants and dental bridges, both of which have been used successfully for many years. There are some situations in which a dental bridge can be an effective alternative to a dental implant.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Generally, dental bridges are a great deal less expensive than dental implants, and their cost is often at least partially covered by dental insurance plans.
Bridges are effective if the surrounding teeth need to be crowned as part of a dental restoration.
Dental bridges can be placed right away. No surgery is required, so you do not have delay your restoration waiting for a surgical site to heal.
For many different reasons, you may not be a suitable candidate for the surgery involved in placing dental implants, or your jaw bone may not be able to tolerate the root form.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants do not require any alteration of the surrounding teeth. If the surrounding teeth are healthy, it is not optimal to grind them down for the sole purpose of placing the bridge.
Dental implants provide support to the underlying bone, preventing the bone loss that occurs at the site of a missing tooth.
Daily care is much simpler. A bridge requires the use of a threader to clean under it with floss every day. A dental implant can be flossed around and brushed just like the rest of your teeth.
The stress of the bridge upon the adjacent teeth can lead to problems with those teeth down the road, and problems with any of the involved teeth generally mean the entire bridge must be removed and replaced. Dental implants do not place any extra stress upon neighboring teeth.