Deciding Whether Dental Implants or a Dental Bridge Is the Best Option for You

Until the invention of dental implants, dentists used dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Now you have the option to decide whether you want a bridge or an implant to replace any missing teeth you might have. Both options have numerous benefits and work really well, so before you make your final decision you should take the time to learn a bit more about your options.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are custom-made dental crowns that are surgically implanted directly into your jawbone using a titanium screw. As you recover from the dental surgery, the implant fuses with your jawbone, creating a stable, strong foundation. Dental implants are ideal for people who are looking for an option that closely resembles their natural teeth. Because each implant is custom-made, your dentist can easily match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth. The best part is, once you recover from the surgery, your dental implant shouldn't interfere with your speech, smile, or ability to eat at all.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are made of two or more dental crowns. The crowns are fused together, and anchored to your natural teeth sitting on each side of the gap. Unfortunately, this means that dental bridges are only as strong as the teeth surrounding them — they aren't permanently anchored inside your mouth, which makes them a great option for anyone who doesn't want to undergo dental surgery. Dental bridges typically don't last quite as long as dental implants. However, if you care for your teeth and your dental bridge correctly, it should last around 10 years.

Length of the Procedures

The good news is that neither dental bridges or implants are overly complicated procedures. It takes longer to complete the entire process of getting dental implants though, because the screws that sit in your jaw can't be fitted with the actual dental crown until your mouth has healed from your surgery. Also, your gums need time to grow up around the post for you to achieve the natural-tooth look.  

Getting a dental bridge isn't an overnight process either. Dental bridges are custom-made so that they fit the patient's mouth correctly, and the process does take a bit of time. However, it is possible for your dentist to put a temporary dental bridge in your mouth to fill the gap while your permanent bridge is being made.

Dental implants and bridges are both good options for anyone who needs to replace missing teeth. If you aren't completely sure which option is best for you, talk to your dentist about each procedure before you decide. For more information, visit a website such as