The Difference Between a Dental Implant and Dental Bridge in Bonita Springs

An older woman examining her smile.

Replacing teeth is always a good idea if you have the opportunity. Ideally, you should be thinking about replacing your teeth promptly after an extraction to prevent potential teeth from shifting into the empty space. But many people still don’t realize that they have options to consider. A dental bridge in Bonita Springs is ideal for some cases, but a dental implant offers a whole host of other benefits that you cannot expect from a bridge.

Consider the main differences between bridges and dental implants before making your final decision!

Restorative Functions

Dental bridges were the standard for tooth replacement for many years, but the reality is they don’t replace the entire tooth. In fact, dental bridges work to fill the gap in your smile, which only includes the crown portion of teeth. While it is true that a dental bridge will prevent neighboring teeth from shifting into the empty space of your smile, it doesn’t resolve other issues that typically appear after tooth loss.

Dental implants consist of both a crown and root replacement, which means a portion of it integrates with your existing jaw and bone tissue. By doing this, it restores blood flow to the cheeks and gums, stimulates the jaw, and allows for the strongest biting force possible. You cannot expect these benefits from a traditional bridge alone.

Easier Placement, No Tooth Removal

Dental bridges are effective at replacing multiple teeth at a time, but this comes at a price. Not just dollars and cents, but a removal of your existing tooth structure. Bridges use existing teeth to stay anchored, meaning you have to buff healthy teeth just to keep it stable. Dental implants are strong enough to hold restorations on their own, which means you don’t have to remove any existing tooth structure to have them.

Maintenance Differences

Crowns that make up a bridge are all connected, which means there’s no way to floss in between them like you would with natural teeth. As a result, you need to floss underneath the bridge as a whole in order to remove plaque and food debris. Dental implants are maintain exactly like natural teeth, so flossing and brushing feels as natural as it did prior to your tooth loss. Additionally, the porcelain crown on top cannot develop decay, just make sure to clean the gum tissue that heals around it.

Long-Term Comparisons

When properly cared for, dental bridges typically last between 10 and 15 years before needing to be replaced. This sounds like a long time at first, but dental implants have been clinically proven to last anywhere between 25 years and even a lifetime without issue. Even after a 10-year period of use, dental implants were proven to reach success rates as high as 98 percent! That’s reliability you can count on in the long-term.

Got questions on tooth replacement or want to speak with a dentist directly? Schedule an appointment with a dentist to learn more about dental implants in Bonita Springs!

About the Author

Dr. Lacy Gilbert earned her DMD degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. While attending UCLA, she earned a Mastership in Dental Implants. She also uses a Cone Beam CT scanner to virtually plan all of her implant placements for the best predictability possible. To learn more about her practice, you can contact her through her website.