A single missing tooth can impact your smile and confidence, but it can also affect the overall function of your teeth and lead to other dental issues down the road. Fortunately, there are several options available to replace missing teeth. Two of the most popular options are dental implants and dental bridges.
While implants and bridges can help restore a full, bright smile—there are significant differences between the two options. To determine the best option for your needs and budget, here’s a brief introduction to the differences between implants and bridges.
Dental implant pros and cons
Dental implants are a permanent way to replace one or more missing teeth. They involve a titanium screw implanted in your jawbone and attached to a natural-looking crown. The number one advantage of dental implants is their strength—by fusing to your jawbone, dental implants function exactly like natural teeth and prevent bone deterioration caused by missing teeth. Other advantages of dental implants include:
- Longest-lasting tooth replacement option
- Blend in naturally with other teeth
- Do not burden or impact surrounding teeth
Of course, every dental option has some disadvantages. Drawbacks of dental implants include:
- Expensive compared to other options
- Requires oral surgery and significant healing time
- Might require bone grafting surgery if the jawbone isn’t strong enough to hold an implant
Dental bridge pros and cons
A dental bridge attaches a prosthetic tooth to the adjacent natural teeth, forming a “bridge” that looks and feels like real teeth. The adjacent teeth must be reshaped and resized first to accommodate the crowns that serve as the anchors for the bridge. If the teeth are not strong enough, you can opt for a “Maryland” bridge, which is embedded into the adjacent teeth instead of using crowns. The pros of choosing a dental bridge include:
- One of the most affordable treatment options for missing teeth
- Quick turnaround time—no waiting for months to heal
- Does not require bone grafting surgery
The cons of choosing a dental bridge include:
- Can put strain on the surrounding teeth
- Not expected to last a lifetime
- Do not address structural dental problems such as disintegrating jawbone
For some dental patients, a mixed approach is best for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants can serve as anchors for dental bridges, allowing you to replace several teeth at once at a much lower cost than replacing each individual tooth. Bridges that are supported by implants are also stronger than using adjacent teeth, and will typically last much longer than traditional bridges.
Finding the right choice for you
The decision on which tooth replacement option is best for you depends on your oral health, your specific dental issues, your overall health (whether you’re healthy enough for surgery), and your budget. The best way to find out is to consult with a dental professional, who will conduct a thorough exam, including X-rays, and discuss all the available options with you.
The cost of a dental bridge vs implant in Mexico and U.S.
Although dental implants are the strongest, longest-lasting solution for missing teeth, the cost is out of reach for many patients. At BioDental Care in Tijuana, we welcome U.S. patients and provide the highest quality dental services at vastly reduced prices. For dental implants, we offer savings of up to 63% compared to U.S.-based services. If dental bridges are a better option for you, we offer savings of up to 67% compared to dentists in the U.S.
Dental implants and bridges in Tijuana
If you live in Southern California, you don’t have to go far for high quality, affordable dental treatments. Whether you’re looking to replace missing teeth or are in need of other dental or periodontal treatment, BioDental Care in Tijuana can help. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at (619) 754-8508.