Dental Implants or Bridges?
When we proceed to replace an individual missing tooth we have two options, either a dental implant or a 3-tooth bridge. Dental Implants cost more, while a dental bridge remains the most common option mainly due to lower treatment costs. However, more and more Dental Surgeons, Implantologists – Dentists etc are now suggesting their patients to consider the option of placing dental implants because of the benefits they offer.
Cost of Dental Implants vs Dental Bridges: A comparison
Depending on the material of construction, the cost of a 3-tooth bridge ranges between €450 and €900, while dental implant prices range from €600 to €1200. Prices may vary depending on the region and practitioner, but the general rule of thumb is that dental implants are about 25-30% more expensive than a dental bridge.
When it comes to choosing between the 2 treatments mentioned above, the first feeling is that the bridge is the more economical option. However, looking at the parameters listed in this article, it turns out that the most cost-effective option is the dental implant.
When attempting to compare the cost of dental implants to the cost of a dental bridge, we must take into consideration their lifespan, before there is a need to repair or replace them. Research places the average life of a dental implant at 20 years. It is noteworthy that patients with a healthy jawbone, who take proper care of their implants and follow the rules of oral hygiene, can maintain them for their entire lives.
Dental Bridges and possible complications
If you go ahead with the option of having a dental bridge placed, you may experience one of the following problems in a relatively short period of time:
Damage to the Teeth supporting the Bridge
If one of the adjacent teeth on which a dental bridge is supported develops a problem, for example due to periodontitis, the bridge will have to be removed and after the tooth has been treated, a new bridge will be replaced. In fact, many times the bridge itself can be the cause of these problems. In order to support the bridge, healthy side teeth must be ground down to make room for the ceramic crown. These teeth, as their protective enamel is removed, become more susceptible to decay. This procedure increases the likelihood that they will need a filling or even a root canal in the future. Another risk is the increased pressure placed on the teeth by chewing, which increases the likelihood of a fracture, which in turn will lead to root canal or even extraction of the tooth.
Oral hygiene difficulties
Dental bridges have high oral hygiene requirements and require special cleaning with interdental brushes. Complete removal of dental plaque is difficult for patients to achieve, increasing the risk of cavities and periodontitis. Dental implants also need good oral hygiene, but they are cleaned like a natural tooth without any kind of special treatment.
After a tooth extraction, due to the lack of pressure in the space of the empty socket, loss of bone mass from the jaw is often caused. Over the long term this can create stability problems for the adjacent teeth supporting the prosthetic restoration, in this case a bridge. If any of the neighboring teeth becomes loose and starts to move, the bridge will soon lose its usefulness.
The average lifespan of a dental bridge ,before it requires complete replacement, is an average of 10 years, half the average lifespan of a dental implant. Therefore over a twenty year period we need to compare Implant costs with the cost of 2 bridges. In addition, we should also take into account the cost of possible treatments that the supporting teeth of a bridge will need due to problems caused by the latter.
So taking into account all the factors that shape the final cost of tooth implants, the patient will pay less money if they choose to have a dental bridge placed, but they run an increased risk of losing one of the neighboring teeth due to grinding and bone loss. Therefore, in the long run he will have to bear higher costs than if he had chosen a dental implant to replace the missing tooth from the beginning.
Ideal candidate for dental implants
As long as the patient does not belong to any of the groups that are contraindicated for the use of implants (chronic diseases such as diabetes, haemophilia or immune diseases), Dental Implants are the Most Reliable And Safe Method for the Restoration of Lost Teeth in terms of functionality, effectiveness and aesthetics and in terms of overall treatment costs compared to a dental bridge. Dental implants are superior to any other prosthetic work proposed for tooth loss, and the experience and full training of our medical team guarantees a lasting smile that keeps on shining.