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Tooth loss is often an outcome of injures, dental diseases and old age. There are number of reasons why you may consider replacing your missing teeth. Physical appearance is the most important reason why people may choose to get false teeth alternatives. Apart from that, missing teeth also hinder your speech and eating ability. Besides, if you do not get a substitute tooth in time, the neighboring teeth move into this space creating gaps and unevenness. Amongst the various tooth replacement options available, dental implants and bridges are the two most popular ones.

Dental Bridge Vs. Implant

There are various considerations which dictate the choice of the tooth alternatives. Cost, durability, appearance, maintenance are some of the factors which often influence the choice of false teeth. Given below are some parameters of comparison between dental implants and bridge depending upon the above considerations.

Procedure
Dental implant is actually a surgical procedure in which a titanium implant is screwed into your jawbone. The implant fuses with the jawbone over the time. It comprises tree parts - an implant, abutment and a false tooth (prosthesis). An abutment is the part of an implant which projects just outside the gum. A false tooth sits on an abutment. A dental bridge is less invasive and does not involve a jawbone. In this procedure, a bridge is anchored on the neighboring two teeth and a false tooth seals the gap. The neighboring teeth are especially prepared for the procedure so that they can be fitted with crown. The dental bridges also come in two or three varieties. Each of these bridges come with anchors for adjoining healthy teeth.

Appearance
A dental implant undoubtedly provides a more natural appearance than a dental bridge. This is because, most of the implant is well concealed inside the gum with only the false teeth showing on the surface. This renders it a very natural look. Same appearance can be imitated with the help of a dental bridge with some efforts. However, generally, implants provide more superior results as compared to dental bridges.

Cost
Dental implants are usually perceived as an expensive option of tooth replacement. However, dental bridges are also not exactly inexpensive. An implant may cost you about $1500 - $3000 per tooth. The cost may go even higher if you are required to undergo certain corrective treatments or some complications arise. A dental bridge cost is usually somewhere between $400 - $1500.

Durability
Dental implants is a near permanent solution to the problem of missing teeth. You can expect it to last anywhere between 10 to 15 years. Dental bridges on the other hand are less durable and you may need to replace them after every 3 to 6 years. Both these false tooth alternatives require little or no maintenance at all.

Convenience
Both these false tooth alternatives are very convenient to use. Unlike flippers or dentures, you need not have to remove them while sleeping or otherwise. Dental bridge is in fact an instant procedure. Fixing dental implants takes a little longer. The implant takes some time to fuse with the bone. The tooth can only be installed when the healing process is completed.

Drawbacks
The biggest drawback of dental implants is its cost. Besides, the healing time is long and there is a possibility of complication. Also, not everyone is a candidate for implants. The problem with a dental bridge is that it includes invasion to other healthy teeth. Over the time, these teeth may also become loose or decayed.

Apart from the above two procedures, there are number of other tooth replacement options that are worth considering. You dentist will inform you regarding the various feasible options and the best one for you.