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Dental Implant vs Dental Bridge – Tooth Replacement Options

When considering tooth replacement there are several important factors to understand.  To make the best decision for your individual needs requires asking the following questions for each option:

  • How long will the replacement last?
  • How will the replacement affect your other teeth?
  • What is the cost of the replacement?
dental implant vs dental bridges

Dental Implant vs Dental Bridge

The most popular tooth replacement options are removable, fixed, and implanted.  To decide what works best for your schedule, budget, and dental goals, let’s compare.

Flipper

A flipper is a removable appliance used to replace a missing tooth.  Typically, it is considered a long-term temporary option. A flipper can last one to three years.

The flipper is made of acrylic with plastic teeth.  It does not require treatment of the neighboring teeth but can cause loss of other teeth because the bite force is transmitted to those teeth.

The cost for a flipper is between $1,300 and $1,500.  Considering the frequent replacement, this can really add up over a lifetime.

Denture

Like a flipper a denture is a removable appliance.  A removable partial denture incorporates acrylic and metal to secure it in the mouth. The metal clasps wear on the natural tooth they secure to. In addition to the friction of the metal clasps, the bite force cause bone loss.

A complete denture replaces the missing teeth of an entire arch.  No metal clasps are used but the way the biting force is distributed causes further bone loss.  Eventually, especially for a lower complete denture, the appliance is just “floating”. This makes speaking, eating, and smiling miserable for many people.

The cost for a denture is between $1,800 and $2,200 and typically maintains functionality for five to seven years.  The younger you are when you initially get dentures, the more replacement investment you will have and the more bone loss to your ridge.

Bridge

Unlike a flipper or dentures, a bridge is not a removable appliance.  It is a fixed tooth replacement that is cemented in by using the neighboring teeth as abutments.  In addition to affecting other teeth to anchor the pontic (or false tooth) a dental bridge does not preserve the jawbone.

The cost for a single tooth replacement with a bridge is between $3,900 and $4,400.  Because of recurrent decay risk, a bridge may only last seven to ten years before needing to be replaced.

Implant

A dental implant is definitely the best dentistry has to offer for tooth replacement.  The implant does not affect neighboring teeth and it preserves the bone from resorption.  With proper dental hygiene and regular dental visits, a dental implant can last a lifetime.

The initial investment of $4,750 to $5,900 is more than any other of the replacement options.  Considering it is meant to last a lifetime and there are no detrimental effects to other teeth and bone, it is clearly a frontrunner if you are a candidate.

Set up an appointment with Dr. Schmelter today to find out which tooth replacement option is best for you. 

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