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Bridges vs Implants: Which Should I Choose?

When deciding what dental restoration to choose, you’ll need to consider multiple factors. What state describes your teeth, gums, and jawbone? What is your budget and your timeframe for treatment? Are you worried about having to repeat treatment in years to come? 

Bridges and implants serve similar purposes, but they’re very different solutions. If you’re missing one or more teeth, it’s important that you go over the benefits and drawbacks of each option with your dentist. 

Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton offers dental care and advice to those in the Washington, DC area. She and Dr. Peter Grinc have experience in both preparing your mouth for either an implant or a bridge, and they can give you insight into both options. We will evaluate your unique situation and discuss the procedures and possible outcomes with you.  

Dental implants 

Dental implants refer to the total replacement of a tooth and its root. A specialist can implant a titanium post into your jaw to act as the root, and our team will then take over to place a restoration, or “new tooth” on the post. This implanted tooth looks, acts, and feels like a normal tooth. They can last forever once they’ve been accepted into your jaw. 

Bridges 

Unlike implants, dental bridges do not come with a post. Instead, the new tooth is secured in place using a framework that is adhered to your existing adjacent teeth. The tooth restorations are built onto this framework. What kind of bridge you receive depends on the amount of teeth you still have and where and how the bridge will attach.

Bridges, also called partial dentures, can be removable or fixed in place. They may be affixed to your teeth with cement, or click on and off with small clasps. Bridges are a convenient way to replace several teeth in a row, or even teeth in different areas of the mouth.

Making the choice

Ready to compare and contrast bridges and implants? Here's what you need to know.

Dental implants look and feel natural. If you have a healthy jaw, sufficient funds, and time to undergo dental surgery, dental implants are the best possible solution as they can last the rest of your life.

However, implants are more expensive than bridges, require surgery, and need solid bone in your jaw to be secure. If your tooth loss happened some time back, bone grafts may be needed before your mouth can support the titanium post. 

Dental bridges provide the best option for anyone who can’t receive implants. This includes those who have poor bone mass in their jaws, are in financial straits, or simply don’t feel up to a surgical procedure. 

Be aware that bridges are not as long-lasting or convenient as implants. You’ll probably have to have them replaced after some years have passed.

If you have missing teeth and want to discuss your options, schedule a consultation to learn more about dental implants and bridges. Only a dentist can evaluate your situation and help you make an informed decision. Contact Dr. Culotta-Norton by calling 202-833-1111, or request an appointment online. 

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