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Dental Implant vs. Bridge: Which Is Right for Me?

Dental Implant vs. Bridge: Which Is Right for Me?

Nobody expects a missing tooth. When you lose a tooth or multiple teeth due to an accident or because they must be extracted, you’re not only faced with the trauma of your missing teeth, you’re faced with a conundrum: How do you replace them?

When you need to replace one or several teeth, you have two choices: dental bridge or dental implant. The best choice for you depends on your preferences and circumstances.

At Sendero Dental Studio, located in Rancho Mission Viejo, California, expert dentist Jeffrey Barrera, DDS, and our team want to help you replace your missing teeth quickly to restore your dental function and smile. Following are a few questions that may help you decide whether a bridge or an implant is best for you.

Do you want the most natural, functional choice?

If you’re interested in replacing your tooth with a false tooth that looks and functions as much like a natural tooth as possible, a dental implant is your clear choice. Dental implants are a three-part tooth replacement system that includes:

Dental implants are individually custom-crafted as distinct teeth. Each artificial root, or post, is separately inserted into your gum and down into your alveolar bone. The titanium post then fuses with your jawbone, so it’s held as securely as a real tooth. The entire implant process may take several months to complete, as your mouth needs to heal completely between each step.

In addition to their unparalleled aesthetics, dental implants are also the most functional tooth replacement choice. The artificial root puts healthy stress and pressure on your jawbone when you chew, which triggers the production of new bone cells. Dental implants ensure that your jawbone doesn’t atrophy over time, as it would with dentures or a bridge.

Do you want to avoid surgery?

A drawback for dental implants is that they must be surgically implanted. If you’d like to avoid surgery and want a fast and easy tooth replacement, a dental bridge may be your best choice.

A dental bridge is a false tooth or series of false teeth that are spanned on either end by an empty crown. To place the dental bridge, we first modify and grind down the teeth that sit on either end of the gap caused by our missing teeth. These are known as the abutment teeth.

The spanning crowns on the dental bridge fit over your abutment teeth to hold your bridge securely in place. The crowns and false teeth are all custom-shaped and colored to match your natural teeth, so nobody can tell you were once missing teeth. 

Do you have a limited budget?

The initial cost of dental implants is higher than that of bridges. That cost can be substantially more if you have to replace several teeth.

However, dental implants usually last longer than bridges and so may be less expensive over the long term. If you have budgetary concerns, talk to us about which system is most cost-effective for you and what payment plans may be available. 

Do you have dental insurance?

If you’d like to use your dental insurance to pay for your tooth replacement, you’re more likely to be successful with a bridge. Many insurance companies cover the cost of functional tooth replacements, such as dentures and bridges.

Insurance companies usually regard dental implant surgery as a cosmetic procedure and don’t reimburse it. If you need help determining if your dental insurance can help pay for your tooth replacement, just let our staff know. We can also arrange payment plans so that you get the tooth replacement of your choice.

Smile again by replacing your missing tooth or teeth with beautiful, custom-designed and natural-looking dental bridges or dental implants. Contact our office by calling our friendly staff at 949-284-6556 or texting us today.

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