Missing teeth create empty spaces in the dentition that are not only an aesthetic problem. The dentition fulfils an important function in the comminution of food.
Tooth gaps should therefore be closed immediately. However, whether the gaps are restored with an implant or a bridge depends on personal preferences and the cost of the dental restoration.
Both options differ from each other and have different advantages and disadvantages. In order to prevent gum and bone loss and to compensate for the changes in the bite caused by unprotected gaps between the teeth, implants and bridges can be used.
To prevent gum and bone loss and to compensate for changes in the bite caused by untreated gaps between the teeth, patients can choose between bridges and dental implants. Many people find the choice difficult. Bridges are one of the most commonly used dental prostheses
However, before they can be fitted, healthy teeth have to be ground down accordingly. The cost of implants is much higher than that of bridges, because the insertion of implants requires surgery.
implants requires a surgical procedure.
Advantages and disadvantages of a bridge restoration
Bridges are the best-known solution for closing gaps between teeth. Unlike dental implants, dental bridges do not require any surgical intervention. In addition, a bridge has the great advantage that the costs are significantly lower than for the implant. This is why most patients choose a bridge. A dental bridge is a fixed, non-removable dental prosthesis. Unlike a denture, a bridge is firmly anchored so that gaps between teeth can be permanently closed. Before a bridge is placed, the neighbouring teeth are prepared, as these serve as the pillars or anchors of the bridge. However, only teeth with healthy crowns and intact roots can be used. Teeth with sensitive tooth necks or caries, on the other hand, are not suitable for preparation. The tooth must be ground down to accommodate a crown, and tooth substance is lost in the process. Unsightly gaps between teeth can be filled relatively quickly with a dental bridge. However, this type of restoration has a disadvantage, because the load is mainly borne by the bridge abutments, which are exposed to higher pressure. The gap between the teeth closed by the pontics does not have to withstand any pressure. The gums and the jawbone can slowly recede as a result. slowly recede. Over time, the degeneration of the jaw bone also spreads to the bridge abutments. When bacteria eventually settle at the gum line, dental diseases such as caries and periodontitis (gum disease) develop. and periodontitis (inflammation of the gums). As a result, the teeth can fall out, creating a much larger gap between the teeth. If the roots of the prepared teeth become infected, root canal treatment is unavoidable. root canal treatment is unavoidable. In some cases, a previously cemented bridge must first be removed in a complex treatment to allow treatment of the diseased tooth. Other disadvantages of a dental bridge include the foreign body feeling that many patients experience with these dentures. Bridges that are not properly fixed can start to wobble after some time. after a while. Cavities form between the dental crowns and the ground-off area, which are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and are an ideal breeding ground for germs and tooth decay.
The most important things about a dental bridge
Advantages of a bridge
- Inexpensive restoration
- Closure of larger gaps between teeth possible
- Low effort
- Dentures subsidised by health insurance
Disadvantages of a bridge
- Promotes dental diseases such as caries and periodontitis at the gum line
- Preparation of healthy teeth necessary
- Degradation of the jaw bone
- Recession of the gums in the area of the dental bridge
The most important things about a dental implant
The great advantage of dental implants is that, unlike a bridge, this restoration does not require the grinding down of healthy teeth. This means that the risk of tooth decay and gum inflammation is much lower. Despite the necessary surgical intervention, the restoration of a tooth gap with implants is an extremely gentle solution for closing small and large tooth gaps. Implants are particularly suitable for closing gaps between teeth in the anterior region, where the aesthetic appearance of the dentition plays an important role. Dental implants perfectly replicate tooth roots and crowns and thus take over the function of real teeth. An implant usually consists of a titanium pin. This is inserted into the jawbone and after the healing period it is fitted with a bridge or a crown. Since the dental implant allows the teeth to be loaded evenly, the jawbone does not recede. At the same time, the risk of bone loss is reduced, which leads to a relief of the neighbouring teeth. In the meantime, it is even possible to anchor complete dentures with the help of dental implants in order to reduce the use of bonding cream or bonding powder or to do without them altogether. The long durability is another advantage of implants. Accordingly, the costs for implants are significantly higher than for a conventional bridge, but the investment is worth it. Once the denture has been implanted, patients benefit from its unlimited lifespan.
Advantages of dental implants
- Long durability (compared to a bridge)
- Protects healthy teeth
- Ideal as a replacement for single teeth and anterior teeth
- Relieves pressure on adjacent teeth
- Comparable to own healthy teeth
- Provides secure support for crowns and bridges
- Jawbone is preserved
- No regression of the gums
Disadvantages of dental implants
- Long healing period
- Suitable only for patients with good oral hygiene
- Unsuitable for patients with periodontitis, diabetes and osteoporosis
- Operative intervention necessary
- In case of existing bone loss, costly reconstruction of the jawbone is necessary
- High costs (compared to dental bridges)
The decision to choose a bridge or implant as the ideal restoration solution should be made after careful consideration of all the advantages and disadvantages. In most cases, the decision-making process is also influenced by the individual financial situation, because the statutory health insurance funds only subsidise dentures on a percentage basis. The remaining costs for bridges and implants are borne by the patient. Dental bridges, which are much cheaper than implants, are used much more often. The big disadvantage of a bridge, however, is that two healthy teeth have to be prepared to make a bridge. In addition, there is a risk of bone loss because some structures cannot be loaded. A dental implant represents a higher investment at first, but this restoration solution is characterised by the complete replication of a healthy tooth and a longer durability. The only disadvantage of implants that discourages many patients from this procedure is the high cost factor.
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Bridge or implants was updated at 19.10.2021 14:18.