Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges: Which is Better?
When you lose a tooth or two, it is vital to get a suitable replacement. However, it can be confusing to choose between dental implants and bridges. Here we have compiled all the information about dental implants vs. dental bridges.
Read on to know your best option!
Video Courtesy: Dr. Nisarg Shah
Almost 69% of adults lose at least one tooth by 44 years of age. 
Popular Replacement Options for Missing Teeth
The two common options your dentist can provide for your missing teeth are:
Dental implants are titanium replacements for tooth roots placed in the jawbone. The abutment fixed at the top holds the crown or bridge in place.
Bridges are false teeth held in place by crowns cemented to trimmed adjacent natural teeth. They are made from materials that match your tooth color.
Though both procedures can replace your missing tooth or teeth, they are quite different in terms of procedure and aftercare.
An initial assessment with your dentist can help you decide the best treatment.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants vs. Bridges
Yet, it is crucial to understand that dental bridges and implants are not the same.
Below, we have listed the pros and cons of implants vs. bridges for you.
Dental Implants – Pros & Cons
Implants have incredible strength. They last a lifetime with good care.
Implants look & feel like natural teeth. They easily adjust to your jaw structure, eliminating discomfort.
Enhanced Bone Health
Since implants are rooted in the jawbone, they promote the growth of the bone through the process of osseointegration.
Promotes oral health
Implants don’t require altering nearby teeth. This means there are more of your teeth left intact. Thus, improving long-term oral health.
Unfortunately, dental implants cost more than dental bridges.
Time Consuming Procedure
Implants typically require at least two stages. It takes 4-6 months for the implant to fuse into your jaw. 
You may require bone grafts or a sinus lift, depending on your jaw structure. This will increase the cost and the healing time.
If dental implants are not placed correctly or not done under proper aseptic conditions, they can lead to severe infections.
Source: Hiossen.com 
Dental Bridges – Pros & Cons
Lesser Treatment Time
It only takes a few weeks to get a dental bridge, far less than implant surgery.
Since a bridge is a non-surgical procedure, it does not cost much as dental implants
No bone grafting required
Losing your teeth for a while leads to bone loss in the jaw. The implants would require bone grafting, while bridges don’t.
Since surgery is not required, it is a safe procedure for patients with diabetes, hypertension, etc.
A candidate can qualify for a bridge only if the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are strong enough.
Prone to wear & tear
On average, you will have to keep replacing your bridge every 8 to 15 years. 
The biggest con of a bridge is the irreversible trimming of the adjacent teeth. This is done for crown placement to support the bridge.
Affects The Bone
Dental Bridges do not preserve the bone or promote the growth of the bone like Implants.
Source: Hiossen.com 
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The average cost of dental implants depends upon the procedure you require and where you choose to get it done.
A single dental implant along with abutment could cost you US$ 5,320, while All-on-4 implants could cost around US$ 24,225 per arch in the US.
In Canada, the price for an all-on-4 implant would be around C$ 3,500 per arch, while in Australia, the same procedure will cost you around A$ 3,800.
Find below the average price of dental implants in the US, Canada, and Australia.
Dental Implants Cost: US vs. Canada vs. Australia
|Single dental implant with abutment||$5,320||$3,500||$3,800|
|All-on-4 implants per arch||$24,225||$23,000||$24,500|
|All-on-6 implants per arch||$28,350||$29,000||$30,000|
|All-on-8 implants per arch||$35,450||$30,000||$35,000|
How Much Does a Dental Bridge Cost?
In the US, the cost of a dental bridge ranges between US$ 1,500 and 12,000. 
Dental bridges in Canada & Australia would be around C$ 1,500 & A$ 2,600.
However, the price could vary depending on the type of bridge you select.
Here, we have put together the average costs of different types of bridges.
Dental Bridge Cost: US vs. Canada vs. Australia
|Traditional or Cantilever bridges||$1,500||$1,500||$2,600|
The Comparison between the Cost of Dental Implants and Bridges
Dental bridges cost almost 60% less than dental implants.
A 3 unit bridge might cost you around $2,100, while a single implant will cost you $5,000, giving you a difference of almost $3,000.
Below we have put a cost comparison table with different locations and costs mentioned for both procedures.
Cost Comparison: Dental Implant vs. Dental Bridge
|3 unit dental bridge||$2,100||$1,500||$2,800|
|Single dental implant||$5,000||$3,000||$5,500|
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How Do I Choose Between a Dental Bridge vs. Implant?
Choosing between dental implants & bridges is tricky, as both are practical solutions to missing teeth.
However, one of the distinguishing factors could be the cost.
On average, implants cost up to 68% more than simple bridges. Yet, the price will depend upon the location and complexity of your procedure.
Here are a few other distinguishing factors, based on which you can choose the best option for you.
Bridge Or Implant: Which is Best for You?
|Factors||Dental Bridge||Dental Implants|
|Single missing tooth||✓||✓|
|Missing multiple teeth in a row||✓||✗|
|Missing all teeth||✗||✓|
|Have health issues||✓||✗|
|Damage to adjacent teeth||✓||✗|
|Prevent bone loss||✗||✓|
Source: Newmouth.com,  Consumer Guide to Dentistry 
While we have all the necessary information, each case can differ and have other hidden complications.
So it is most important to let your dentist assess your case and recommend the right course of treatment for you!
What Are the Alternatives to Dental Implants and Bridges?
The alternatives to implants and bridges are:
If you have several missing teeth, then a partial denture could be a viable option for you.
The plus side is they will fill in the missing teeth for you.
However, it might take some time for you to get used to these as they are removable and not fixed in place.
Dentures with Locks or Snap-on Dentures
While they look very similar to dentures, they are non-removable.
First, they require you to get dental crowns on the adjacent teeth or implants.
The newly attached dental crowns have a locking mechanism that connects to the denture.
It keeps the denture fixed in place.
Dentures with lock
This is a temporary measure to stop your remaining teeth from closing the gap caused by tooth loss.
This procedure will buy you some time before deciding whether to go for a bridge or implant.
These are commonly used for children.
This procedure will require some relatively intact natural teeth for support, like snap-on dentures.
The difference is, in this method, your natural teeth will have magnets inserted into or placed on top of them.
These magnets will then connect to opposing magnets on the underside of your new denture holding it in place.
Magnetic Attachments. Video Courtesy: Steco- system-technik
We hope that this article will help you make a well-informed decision while opting for a bridge, implant bridge, or dental implant.
You can get a more stable solution than the past’s removable options with recent advances. Be sure to consult your dentist before making any decision.
The significant advantage of dental implants over bridges is that they are a stable and long-lasting option.
While a dental bridge is quick, effective, relatively inexpensive, and doesn’t look as natural as implants.
Overall, there will always be a debate about the bridge vs. implant debate.
Each works the best in different cases, so it is best to consult your dentist to understand which one would be the better choice for you.
Dental bridges are 58% cheaper than implants.
- US: The cost of a dental bridge ranges from US$ 1,500 to 12,000. Conversely, a single dental implant in the US is around US$ 3,000 – 5,000.
- Canada: A regular bridge costs around C$ 1,500, while a single implant costs C$ 3,000.
- Australia: A dental bridge costs A$ 2,600, while a single implant is around A$ 5,500.
Dental bridges cost less upfront than implants, and at least some of the costs are more likely to be covered by your insurance. 
Moreover, you can get the bridge procedure completed in 2 visits, whereas dental implants will take six months or more. 
If you’re in good overall health and cost isn’t an issue, then dental implants may be the better option.
They last longer and don’t damage your surrounding teeth.
On average, a dental bridge will last anywhere between 8 and 15 years.
However, with excellent care and regular visits to this dentist, they could easily last for more than ten years.
Some dental bridges also stay up to 20 years. 
The major disadvantage of dental bridges is that they irreversibly damage the adjacent teeth because they need to be trimmed to fit the dental crown.
Incorrectly fixed dental crowns may promote plaque build-up around the bridge, leading to tooth decay.
If the abutment teeth supporting the bridge are too weak, the bridge may fail.
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