What is the difference in replacing a missing tooth with a bridge versus an implant?
Question: What is the difference in replacing a missing tooth with a bridge versus an implant?
Answer: Of course, every case is different, but generally speaking, an implant is more like a natural tooth than having a bridge placed. First of all, a dental implant stands as a single tooth, which receives a "cap" made of porcelain and looks just like a tooth. A bridge is three or more teeth splinted together to "span" a space created by a missing tooth.
Cleaning and flossing around an implant is much easier and since it is made of titanium, it will NEVER decay like a tooth.
A bridge usually requires the dentist to remove a significant amount of tooth structure fro the neighboring teeth and then all three (or more) teeth are splinted together. This can make flossing and care around the roots more difficult and potentially lead to new cavities around these teeth. As expected, the implant is a bit more costly, but will probably last the rest of your life, saving you money and headaches in the long run. It is always a good idea to see if you are a candidate for an implant, before proceeding with placing a dental bridge.