Tooth loss is an incredibly common occurrence, especially as you age. When you lose a single tooth it’s important to get a proper replacement so that the rest of your teeth stay aligned. Replacement teeth can also help maintain your facial shape and avoid any difficulties with eating and speaking. Two common solutions for this are dental bridges and implants.
Dental bridges are false teeth that are held in place by the neighbouring teeth. They are typically made from porcelain or plastic and they are designed to match your natural tooth colour. They can cover one or several missing teeth.
Dental implants are made with artificial tooth roots that are typically made from titanium. They are mounted into your jawbone with screws in order to hold a crown or bridge in its place. Here are some of the pros and cons of dental implants and dental bridges so that you can decide what the best option is for you.
Dental implants and bridges will both give you natural looking results, but they each have their own advantages and drawbacks.
Dental bridges are usually cheaper in upfront costs than implants, and your insurance is more than likely to be able to cover some of their costs. The prices will vary depending on the type of implant or bridge you will get, the materials used, how extensive the procedure will be and where you live.
A low end dental bridge could cost about $500 per tooth, while more expensive dental bridges can be up to $1,200. However, this won’t include the price of the dental crown that attaches to the tooth to your neighbouring teeth. A crown can be another $500 to $2,500 per tooth.
Dental implants typically cost around $3,000 to $4,500 per tooth. Insurance will be less likely to cover the costs of dental implants. Even though dental implants will cost more upfront, they also tend to age better than dental bridges and they won’t need to be replaced as often.
Your dentist can give you advice about the best tooth replacement option for your situation. The best option for you will depend on your budget, how many teeth you are missing and your overall health.
If you have dental insurance, it is more likely you will cover a dental bridge than an implant. If you don’t have insurance and both are out of your price range, you could talk to your dentist about partial dentures or other options.
If you are missing more than one tooth, a dental bridge will likely be a better option than an implant. A separate implant will need to be attached to your jaw for every missing tooth, which will lead to expensive and often unnecessary surgery.
Dental implants will require surgery, so this might not be an option for those who have medical conditions that might hinder healing, such as diabetes or leukemia. The best candidates for dental implants should have good overall health and have a jawbone that is free of decay and healthy enough to support the dental implant.