Tooth loss is considered very common. An estimated 69 percent of adults aged 35 to 44 have lost at least one tooth. By the time they turn 74, it is estimated that they have lost all of their teeth. When you lose a tooth, it is crucial that you have it replaced to ensure the rest of the teeth stays aligned.
Fortunately, this is where dental implants can come in handy. When you get dental implants, you can help maintain your facial shape and avoid any speaking or eating difficulties from developing. Two of the common options used to replace missing teeth are dental implants and bridges.
In essence, dental bridges are false teeth that are held in place by the teeth that surround the missing tooth. Dental bridges are typically made from plastic or porcelain. They are designed to match the natural teeth’s color. They can also be used to cover one (or several) missing teeth.
On the other hand, dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are made of titanium. Dental implants are mounted into the jawbone and will act as replacement for the tooth root. They are also used to hold a bridge or a crown in place. Both dental implants and bridges can deliver natural-looking results.
Dental Implants Vs. Bridges
Below are the pros and cons of dental implants and bridges:
- They can last for many years (considered one of the long-lasting options now available)
- They can remain natural looking for a long period compared to bridges
- They won’t damage the healthy natural teeth that surrounds the dental implant
- They have a very high success rate (98 percent)
- They are less likely to be covered by insurance
- The procedure can last for 6 months (or more)
- They will require a higher upfront cost
- They can lead to surgical complications
- They can be covered by insurance
- They won’t require bone grafting and other invasive surgery
- They have a lower upfront cost compared to dental implants
- They typically require only two visits to the dentist (spread over a couple of weeks)
- They need to be replaced every ten years
- They can lose their natural looking appearance with age
- They can cause more cavities compared to implants
- They can damage healthy teeth that surrounds the missing tooth
Dental Implants Versus Bridges Cost
Dental bridges are cheaper compared to implants and they are more likely to be covered by insurance. Generally, the cost of a dental bridge or dental implant can vary depending on a few key factors including:
- The type of bridge or dental implant you are getting
- The material used
- The extensiveness of the procedure
- Where you are located
According to the American Dental Association, a low-end dental bridge can cost an average of $500 per tooth. On the other hand, more expensive bridges can cost as much as $1,200. However, this does not cover the price of the dental crown. A dental crown can cost another $500 to $2,500 per tooth.
Dental implants typically cost around $3,000 to $4,500 per tooth. Insurance is also less likely to cover the cost of dental implants. While dental implants cost more upfront, they are considered worth the price tag as they tend to age better compared to bridges. Dental implants don’t also need to be replaced as often as dental bridges.
If you are unsure which of the two is best for you, don’t hesitate to check with your dentist. Your dentist can help you decide which of the two options are best for your case.