Hello again, Panama City! We’re glad to have you join us for the third and final installment in Dr. Anish Patel’s blog series on bridges vs. implants. In Part 1, we told you how implants have a strong foundation that prevents bone loss, strengthens bone, and restores your chewing force more than bridges. In Part 2, we said that an implant preserves your teeth, helps retain your oral health better than a bridge, and is a potentially lifelong tooth replacement option.

Today, our Panama City Smiles team will continue answering the big question: Which is better, a dental bridge or dental implant? We’ll look at some final pros and cons of implants and bridges.

A bridge is less invasive than an implant.

This is actually one of the biggest deciding factors for many our patients. If you’ve lost teeth, especially several teeth, your jawbone begins to deteriorate over time (we’ve mentioned this several times before!). If you’ve been toothless for a while, you may not have enough bone left for implants to be placed. Because bridges are attached to your surrounding healthy teeth, your bone is not touched at all. That said, you do need healthy teeth for a bridge to use for support.

Some people may have medical conditions that can affect their healing process after a surgery. Because implants require surgery, we will go over your medical history and any existing conditions thoroughly before deciding if the surgery is safe for you. Generally, it is very safe, especially with the skill of an experienced implant dentist like Dr. Patel.

If you absolutely do not want surgery at all, then a bridge may be the best option for you.

A bridge is often less expensive than an implant.

A lot of patients want to know the cost of implants and the cost of bridges when they’re choosing between the two. This will depend on your unique situation, how many teeth are missing, and your dental and overall health. We’ll be able to help determine the costs more accurately after you come in for a consultation. As a general rule, though, bridges are less expensive. They do not require surgery or posts, like implants do.

When you’re making your decision, you also need to consider the long-term costs. In the long run, bridges may actually cost you more because they need to be replaced after so long, or after the bridge fails prematurely due to decay, infection, or trauma. If budget is a concern for you, we’ll help you compare costs. We also offer financing options to help pay for implants or a bridge.

Bridges and dental implants restore your smile and overall appearance.

Both implants and bridges replace missing teeth and restore your smile! No longer will you have to deal with an embarrassing gap in your smile. Dr. Patel creates beautiful bridges and implant restorations that will look natural and blend in perfectly with your smile! This improves your overall appearance and can help you regain self-confidence.

Dental implants slow down premature aging and a sagging face, while bridges do not.

Although this is more so true for several missing teeth, it’s still important to consider if you’re choosing between an implant and a bridge. Both implants and bridges can help fill in your face, which can start to sag after you’ve been toothless for awhile. But because implants build your jawbone back up, it can completely eliminate any sagging in your face long-term. You won’t have to worry about aging from missing bone structure.

Before we finish today, we want to mention that a bridge can actually be attached to implants instead of individual crowns. A fixed dental bridge is what we’ve been comparing to an implant over our last posts, but we can take a bridge and attach it to implants for added stability.

What Will You Choose?

Although there are other things to consider when deciding whether an implant or bridge is the best tooth replacement option for you, we’ve taken some of the most common things that our patients want to know before they decide. If you have any more questions or are ready to replace your missing tooth now, contact us today for a FREE consultation! Dr. Patel will talk to you in person about Panama City dental implants and bridges, and you can ask him anything else to help get your smile full and beautiful again!