Dental Implants Vs. Crown-&-Bridge

Posted on Dec 10, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

I often consult with patients who are contemplating a bridge replacement for Dental Implants. The only obstacle, for most, is the higher cost for implants. However, there are many reasons why a bridge is not necessarily the best investment or the best option for your oral well-being.

When a bridge is used to replace missing teeth, it must be attached to natural teeth for support. These natural teeth must be crowned (or ‘capped’). Once a natural tooth is shaved down in order to have this crown covering, it is never the same. Unlike your natural tooth, it will always need a crown to protect it and is also susceptible to requiring a root canal.

Underneath the gum tissue in the area where you have missing teeth, bone ‘resorption’ is occurring from the absence of tooth roots. ‘Resorption’ is the term used to describe the shrinking process of the bone that once supported natural teeth. As the bone shrinks, susceptibility increases for the natural teeth supporting the bridge. On average, the next teeth you’ll lose are teeth adjacent to areas of missing teeth. Because Dental Implants recreate the presence of tooth roots, they halt the process of bone resorption.

When a Dental Implant is placed, it does not need the support of other teeth. It is held by the jaw bone, just as a natural tooth root. This also gives you dependable biting and chewing strength.

For those who are missing several teeth, one Dental Implant can often support a ‘bridge’ of several teeth. Since the cost of implant treatment depends greatly on the number of implants used, this keeps overall expenses lower.

Dental Implants are made from a material that bonds successfully with your jaw bone. Once placed and properly maintained, an implant should last your lifetime. The initial costs are higher since placement is a surgical procedure and due to the materials used. However, the lifelong advantages are a bargain by comparison.

Dental Implants need no root canals, do not decay and do not compromise the well-being of adjacent natural teeth. Unlike a crown-&-bridge combination, they become a ‘part of you’ that can actually enhance your overall oral health. If you are contemplating replacing a bridge with Dental Implants, please call (828) 274-9440 to arrange a consultation.

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