When you are missing a tooth, you have three options: a dental implant, a dental bridge, or doing nothing. We don't recommend the third option—not replacing a tooth can change the shape of your face, affect your speech patterns, weaken your bite, and cause your remaining teeth to shift in place. That leaves us with dental bridges vs. implants. Which is the right choice for you and what can you expect to pay? We answer these questions below.
Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants are the gold standard when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Unlike bridges, dental implants replace both the root and the crown of a tooth, which gives them more stability and prevents bone loss in the jaw. Unfortunately, providing a ballpark figure for dental implants is difficult, as there are a number of factors involved, including:
- The type of implant fixture you choose
- The restoration being attached to your dental implants (a crown, bridge, or denture)
- The material used to fabricate the restoration
- The number of appointments needed
- Whether you need any supplementary procedures (tooth extractions, sinus lift, or bone grafting)
The price of a single dental implant in Monmouth County ranges from $ 4500 - $ 5500; this is the cost only for the fixture. If you need multiple dental implants, this doesn’t mean that the price is multiplied; each additional implant is placed at a discounted rate because you’ll already be in our office, anesthetized, and under sedation, and you’ll only need one follow-up appointment, etc.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Setting aside the costs involved, there are a number of reasons why we recommend considering dental implants over dental bridges:
- Dental implants are strong and durable, allowing them to perform most like natural teeth.
- Because they replace the root of the tooth, implants can prevent and even reverse jawbone loss, resulting in a stronger bite and more youthful appearance.
- Implants are the best option for restoring your natural smile.
- With proper maintenance and good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime.
- Dental implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support like traditional bridges.
Cost of Dental Bridges
Traditional fixed dental bridges have two abutments, or supports, in the form of crowns on neighboring teeth, then one or more pontics, or prosthetic teeth, that connect the two abutment teeth. A Maryland Bridge, which bonds a metal or porcelain framework onto the backs of the abutment teeth to hold the bridge in place, is a more inexpensive option. A third option is a cantilever bridge, which only uses one neighboring tooth for support.
Again, with so many different options, the costs can vary significantly. Many patients are surprised to learn, though, that a single tooth dental implant is often comparable in cost to a traditional bridge. This is because a single tooth dental implant is self-supporting, while a bridge requires crowns to be placed on adjacent teeth. The more teeth that need replacement, the larger the price difference will be between bridges and implants.
Advantages of Dental Bridges
Although dental implants are usually the best choice for your oral health, there are some reasons to choose bridges:
- Dental bridges are more likely to be covered by dental insurance.
- The process of getting bridges is less invasive.
- Dental bridges are an option for patients who have medical or dental conditions that put them at higher risk of infection or complications from implant surgery.