Whether a dental implant or a bridge is better depends on individual patient factors and the specific dental issue being addressed. Here are some factors to consider:
- Longevity: Dental implants tend to have a longer lifespan than bridges. Implants can last for decades or even a lifetime, while bridges may need to be replaced after 10-15 years.
- Bone health: Dental implants can help to preserve the bone in the jaw, while bridges do not. This is because implants are placed directly into the jawbone and stimulate bone growth, while bridges sit on top of the gumline and do not stimulate bone growth.
- Adjacent teeth: Bridges require the support of adjacent teeth, which must be prepared for the bridge by removing some of the tooth structure. This can weaken the supporting teeth and increase the risk of decay and other dental problems. Implants, on the other hand, do not require support from adjacent teeth.
- Maintenance: Bridges require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent decay and gum disease. Implants require similar maintenance, but are generally easier to clean and less prone to decay.
- Cost: Dental implants tend to be more expensive than bridges, but they may provide better long-term value due to their longer lifespan.
Ultimately, the decision between a dental implant and a bridge should be made in consultation with a qualified dental professional, taking into account the specific dental issue being addressed, the patient’s individual needs and preferences, and other relevant factors such as cost and overall health.