Dental Implants vs. Bridges: A Complete Review

Dental Implants vs. Bridges: A Complete Review

Dr. Michael Layton
July 15, 2014

These days you don’t have to resort to Fixed Bridges if you have missing teeth. Thanks to modern dental technology, you can replace one or more missing teeth with Dental Implants.

Dental Implants

The main part of a Dental Implant is the titanium implant that is placed in the pocket of the bone, or the alveolus, where the original tooth used to be. Titanium works quite well as the bone and the titanium post bond over a time, much like your natural tooth did when it was in place. This process is known as Osseointegration.

Dental implants

Dental Implants help prevent bone loss that can occur with other tooth replacement procedures. Dental Implants also have a higher success rate than Fixed Bridges, will not decay, and preserve the bone.

Fixed Bridges

Fixed Bridges are a non-removable, permanent prosthesis that attaches to your natural teeth. They bridge the gap between your new false tooth or teeth and your natural teeth. The major advantage of fixed bridges is that the problem is taken care of immediately while Dental Implants take longer because minimal surgery and time for healing is required.

Before Dental Implants, Fixed Bridges were the best way to replace missing teeth. Fixed Bridges were not only aesthetically pleasing, but also successful. Unfortunately, Fixed Bridges can be problematic, as the natural teeth that sit on the sides of your Fixed Bridge need to be filed down by your dentist before the dental appliance is placed. Because your natural teeth have been filed, the adjoining teeth are more prone to tooth decay and periodontal disease making root canals a real possibility in the future.

Cost Breakdown - Dental Implants Vs. Fixed Bridges

Most people would presume that a Fixed Bridge would be more affordable than a Dental Implant, but when you look at the entire picture, Dental Implants are more cost-effective as they provide patients with better treatment options. Fixed Bridges and Dental Implants essentially cost the same. However depending on the case, the additional cost can vary when it comes to preserving the bone in your jaw.

Other cost issues that could occur in the near future include cavities, root canals, and Fixed Bridge replacement. Teeth that are supported by Fixed Bridges can become loose, chip or break. If this occurs, your entire bridge will need to be replaced. Dental Implants do not carry the risk.

Important Note: Because Dental Implants last longer than Fixed Bridges, the cost will be approximately less than $100.00 per year over your lifetime.

Teeth not only support your cheeks and lips, but also give you a fuller, more pleasing appearance while they maintain your vertical dimension of occlusion. Along with your lips and tongue, your teeth allow you to pronounce words correctly while preserving the height of your alveolar ridge. Obviously, teeth are also used to grind, cut, and chew.

Posterior Tooth Loss

According to Dr. Michael Layton, Posterior Tooth loss occurs when there is a loss of vertical dimension. Vertical Dimension is literally the height of your lower face as determined by your bite. If you have missing teeth, you are putting much greater lateral loads on your remaining teeth when you close your mouth, which could put you at risk for additional tooth loss and breakage.

If you have too much vertical dimension, anywhere between 2-10mm, your dentist will need to perform a full mouth rehabilitation in order to stabilize your occlusion.

Single Dental Implants

Single Dental Implants help prevent the loss of vertical dimension and the need for large dental system rehabilitation in the future. A recent patient of Dr. Layton’s had missing multiple posterior teeth causing the front teeth to chip, which will eventually fracture completely if not taken care of.

In the majority of cases seen by Dr. Layton, Dental Implants offer by far the best solution for the long term as Dental Implants rarely need to be replaced making Dental Implants much more economical in the long run.

If you would like to know more about Dental Implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. Layton at Peace Arch Dental to determine if you are a good candidate for Dental Implants.

About Dr. Michael Layton

Dr. Michael Layton PostsDr. Michael Layton (DDS) is the dentist for Peace Arch Dental, a dental office in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life - this includes loose dentures! You can follow him on Google+.

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