You may be ready to explore your options if you have worn a partial denture or have had missing teeth for years. We will define and compare dental implants with a dental bridge to replace missing teeth. And we will explain how to find a dentist to give you predictable results.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. A complete dental implant has three parts:
- Artificial root – The base of an implant is a screw-like fixture that an implant dentist places in your jawbone. Over several months, your jawbone grows between the implant threads and locks it in place.
- Abutment – Attached to the top of an implant, an abutment supports a dental crown.
- Dental crown – A crown replaces the white portion of your teeth that shows above the gumline. A dentist will make a custom crown that looks like a natural tooth.
Read details in our post about types of dental implants.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a prosthesis of connected dental crowns to replace missing teeth. Dental bridge components include:
- Two or more joined crowns – At least three crowns are required to form a bridge.
- Anchor crowns – The dental crowns on the end cover natural teeth.
- Center crown(s) – Crowns between the anchors replace missing teeth.
One missing tooth. Three connected crowns form the dental bridge. The end crowns cover a natural tooth, and the crown in the center replaces the missing tooth.
Two missing teeth in a row. Four connected crowns form the bridge. The two center crowns replace the missing teeth, and the end crowns cover the natural teeth which anchor the bridge.
What Is an Implant-Supported Bridge?
An implant-supported bridge is a tooth replacement option anchored by dental implants instead of natural teeth. Unlike a conventional dental bridge, a dentist will not shave down any of your natural teeth to support the bridge.
How Do Dental Implants and a Dental Bridge Compare?
Dental implants and bridges vary in several ways, which we compare below.
An April 2022 Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology article acknowledges that a non-implant-supported dental bridge can affect the anchor teeth in these ways:
- Stress on the teeth that support the bridge
- Stress on the tooth cervix (between the crown and roots)
- Stress on tooth roots
The article states that specific dental bridge designs can reduce the stress on teeth, although it does not eliminate it entirely.
Should You Choose a Dental Implant or a Dental Bridge?
Whether you choose a dental implant or a dental bridge depends on several factors, including:
- Your oral and overall health
- Your preference
- Your commitment to caring for dental implants
- Your budget
- Your dentist’s recommendations
Compare Your Options with an Experienced Provider
We recommend consulting with at least two implant dentists to discuss your concerns and compare your options with dental implants and dental bridges. Look for dentists with these qualifications:
- Advanced training in dental implant surgery and restoration
- Credentials from dental implant training organizations
- Extensive experience in cases like yours
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Saleh
In Vancouver, Washington, Dr. Mo Saleh is a diplomate of implantology. He achieved diplomate status from the International Congress of Oral Implantology and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
You will benefit from Dr. Saleh’s high level of experience in evaluating your oral health and treatment options. He will refresh you with his compassion, patience, and honesty. Dr. Saleh will not pressure you to receive treatment from him but will encourage you to explore your options with other providers. We welcome you to schedule a consultation online or call us for an appointment