Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants
What exactly is a dental implant?
A dental implant is the best and most innovative tooth replacement option available today. An implant is essentially a titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone that replaces the root of your tooth.
Once the post is placed by an oral surgeon, there will be a healing period (known as osseointegration) in which the dental implant is allowed to properly integrate into your jaw bone.
After osseointegration, a crown will be placed over the top of the dental implant by your dentist giving you a beautiful, flawless smile and allowing you to chew normally again.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Tooth replacement technologies
Dentures (partial or full)
|Longevity||1-3 years||5-7 years||7-10 years||Lifetime|
|Preservation of healthy adjacent teeth||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Transmission of force to:||adjacent teeth||adj teeth/gums||adjacent teeth||bone|
|Prevent bone loss & preserve facial appearance||No||No||No||Yes|
|Requirement for periodic adjustments||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Accelerated loss of adjacent teeth||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants: Who can benefit from Dental Implants?
To be a candidate for a dental implant, it starts with having a missing tooth or teeth or needing to have one or more teeth removed. Due to the longevity of a dental implant versus other tooth replacement options, anyone with one or more missing teeth can reap the benefits that dental implants have to offer.
While there are few instances a patient may not be eligible for an implant, this is rare. If you have low bone level due to your tooth or teeth being gone for a longer period, or periodontal disease, the oral surgeon may need to perform a bone graft (add bone to the area where the implant will be placed) before the implant post can be placed.
On other occasions, a patient may have a low lying sinus that innervates the space where the implant will be. This only occurs with upper teeth, and if this is the case, the oral surgeon will perform a sinus lift first.
A dental bridge is a missing tooth replacement option in which the lab actual fabricates three crowns that are connected. The two teeth adjacent to the space will be prepared for crowns.
These teeth will be the support structure for the bridge as the third crown called a “pontic tooth” will essentially hover in the missing space. As the gums heal, they will meet the pontic tooth making it virtually impossibly for others to notice.
The learn more about what exactly a crown is and the process, click here. This will be the procedure you would go through with a bridge, just on two teeth!
The disadvantage of a bridge is that it affects the teeth surrounding the space, putting pressure and strain on them by having them support the pontic tooth.
What could otherwise remain stable, healthy teeth, by getting a bridge you have now compromised healthy tooth structure. When a tooth is prepared for a crown, some of the protective enamel layer is taken away making the tooth more susceptible to decay.
In some cases, the adjacent teeth require crowns anyway due to them being cracked or decayed. In this case some patients will opt to do a bridge; however, in most cases, a dental implant is the best and most conservative option for tooth replacement.
Another bonus to choosing an implant over a bridge is the support an implant gives your bone. When your jawbone has roots of the teeth or something that acts like roots (such as an implant) in it, the bone level remains high to support those structures.
When a tooth is lost, the bone recedes over time affecting your overall facial structure. When you have a dental bridge, the tooth is replaced, but with a fake tooth that is not placed into the bone, therefore, most patients will experience bone loss over time. An implant will preserve the bone and maintain your normal facial structure.
Dental Bridges vs Dental Implants: Implant-Supported Bridges
If you have three or more missing teeth in one area of the mouth, you may also consider an implant supported bridge. Some may not be able to have an implant placed for every missing space, so an implant supported bridge could be the next best option.
Since there are not adjacent teeth to support the pontic tooth, two implants are placed instead and then support a tooth in the middle to fill the remaining space. While some bone will still be lost where that third pontic tooth is, at least some is bring retained where the implants are placed.
Experienced, Competent Dental Implant Care
Dr. Brad Alderman has extensive experience with dental implants.
Dr. Brad Alderman has received advanced training and has over a decade of experience with dental implants.
This includes multiple continuing education classes on implants and hundreds of implants restored.
Dr. Brad Alderman will guide and co-manage your implant treatment throughout the process to help make sure you get the results you’re looking for. To achieve the best outcome, Dr. Brad Alderman has partnered with experienced, local oral surgeon, Dr.David Rallis.
Dr. Rallis will extract any teeth if necessary, and place the dental implant post. He will see you back in three to six months for the integration check, then Dr. Alderman will place the final implant crown restoration.
Southpointe Dental is a proud member of Nebraska Family Dentistry. We’re one of multiple NFD locations, some of which are even open on weeknights and weekends for your convenience.
Each NFD team member is trained to go above and beyond to keep our patients calm and comfortable, so you can expect the same exceptional care from all of our sister locations.
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