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Dental Implants vs Dental Bridges: A Comprehensive Guide on Choosing Which One is Right For You

When it comes to dental restorations, there are two treatment options you should consider: dental implants and dental bridges. If you suffer from tooth loss, you can consider one of these options. While both can improve oral health and restore your smile, they have different benefits and drawbacks.

Dental implants and bridges have unique features that make them suitable for different situations. For example, dental implants are a more long-term solution and offer higher stability. In addition, dental bridges can be a more affordable and less invasive option.

In this blog post, we will compare dental implants and dental bridges. This guide will help you make an informed decision about which option is right for you. Whether you want to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, we’ve got you covered.

Summary of the Content

  • Dental implants and bridges are dental restorations that can improve your oral health and restore your smile.

  • Dental implants are made of biocompatible materials such as titanium and are implanted in the jawbone to support a replacement tooth or bridge.

  • Dental bridges are made up of one or more prosthetic teeth attached to the natural teeth on either side of the gap.

  • Dental implants offer benefits such as
    • Increased self-esteem
    • Improved oral health and comfort
    • Better chewing function
    • Enhanced appearance
    • Easier care

  • Dental bridges offer these benefits:
    • Cost-effectiveness
    • Improves dental function
    • Custom-made
    • Longer-lasting than dentures

  • The length of treatment for dental implants and bridges depends on several factors, like:
    • The number of teeth being replaced
    • The complexity of the procedure
    • Patients oral health

  • The total surgery time for dental implants can range from 3 to 10 hours, excluding the 3 to 6 months of healing period.

  • Dental bridges have a total procedure time of 5 to 10 hours.

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed in the jawbone to support a replacement tooth, bridge or denture. It’s one of the most effective and long-lasting teeth replacement solutions. Dental implants are made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium, that fuse with the jawbone to provide a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth.

Before getting a dental implant, your dentist will assess your dental health and jaw bone density to determine if you are a good candidate for surgery. They will also take X-rays or other diagnostic scans. Some patients may need a bone grafting procedure before their dental implant surgery.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. They’re attached to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. The natural teeth serve as the support for the bridge, and they are called abutment teeth. They are prepared by removing a thin layer of tooth structure to make room for the bridge to be cemented on adjacent teeth.

Dental bridges are used to restore the appearance and function of missing teeth. They can help improve your ability to speak and chew properly and prevent other teeth from shifting out of place.

The Benefits of Implants for Lost or Missing Teeth

Dental implants are great treatment options for people who have lost one or more teeth. Here are some of the benefits of dental implants:

  • Increased Self-Esteem.
    One of the primary benefits of dental implants is that they can increase one’s self-esteem. Losing one or more teeth can be traumatic and can lead to losing self-confidence.

  • Improved oral health.
    Lost teeth can lead to bone loss. Dental implants help prevent this by acting as artificial tooth roots and stimulating the jaw bone.

  • Improved comfort.
    Dental implants are anchored to your jawbone, unlike dentures, which can slip or shift in your mouth. This provides a comfortable and stable foundation for your replacement teeth.

  • Better chewing function.
    When a tooth is lost, it can make it difficult to chew properly. This can lead to problems with digestion and an increased risk of malnutrition. Dental implants can help restore proper chewing function and improve digestion.

  • Enhanced appearance.
    Missing teeth can cause facial sagging. This can make people look older than they are. Dental implants help fill the gaps left by missing teeth and give a person’s face a youthful appearance.

  • Durability.
    Implants are a much more durable option for tooth loss. They are usually made of titanium, a biocompatible material that fuses with the jawbone, creating a stable and durable foundation for replacement teeth.

  • Easier to care for.
    Implants are much easier to care for than dentures or bridges since you can brush and floss them like you would your natural teeth. There is no need for special adhesives or cleaning solutions, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene.

If these benefits appeal to you, talk to your dentist to see if you’re suitable for this tooth replacement option.

The Benefits of Using Dental Bridges to Replace Lost or Missing Teeth

Here are the benefits of a dental bridge:

  • Restore the function of your teeth.
    Dental bridges fill the gaps left by missing teeth, restoring them to their natural look and functioning abilities. Bridging these gaps also helps prevent the shifting of your teeth.

  • Cost-effective.
    Compared to other tooth replacement options, dental bridges are cheaper.

  • Improve the appearance of your smile.
    Missing teeth can cause your smile to look uneven and can make you self-conscious. Dental bridges can help improve the appearance of your smile by filling in the gaps left by missing teeth.

  • Durable.
    Dental bridges are designed to be durable and long-lasting. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for many years.

  • Non-surgical.
    Unlike dental implants, which require surgery, dental bridges can be placed without the need for invasive procedures. This can be a good option for patients who are not good candidates for dental surgery.

Knowing Their Pros and Cons

Length of Treatment

The length of dental implant and bridge procedures can vary based on several factors. This includes the number of teeth being replaced, the complexity of the procedure, the patient’s oral health, and the experience of the dental practitioner. Here is a general comparison of the length of treatment for dental implants and dental bridges:

Dental implants:

  • Initial consultation: 1 to 2 hours
  • Implant placement: 1 to 2 hours per implant (may require multiple visits)
  • Healing period: 3-6 months
  • Abutment and crown placement: 1 to 2 hours per implant (may require multiple visits)

Total treatment time: at least 3 to 10 hours of procedure spread over several visits excluding 3-6 months of healing period

Dental bridges:

  • Initial consultation: 1 to 2 hours
  • Tooth preparation: 1 to 2 hours per tooth (may require multiple visits)
  • Impression and mould making: 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Temporary bridge placement: 1 to 2 hours
  • Final bridge placement: 1 to 2 hours

Total treatment time: 5 to 10 hours (spread over several visits)

Ease of Maintenance

Dental implants and dental bridges require regular maintenance to ensure longevity and prevent dental problems. Here is a comparison of the ease of maintenance for both options:

Dental implants:

  • Brush and floss.
    Dental implants can be cleaned like natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste is important to avoid scratching the implant surface.

  • Regular dental checkups.
    Patients with dental implants should have regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings to ensure the implant is healthy and functioning well.

  • No special cleaning tools.
    Unlike bridges, dental implants don’t need special cleaning tools or floss threaders to clean around the implant. This makes maintenance easier and more convenient.
Dental bridges:
  • Brush and floss.
    Dental bridges require regular brushing and flossing to remove food particles and plaque buildup. Special floss threaders, interdental brushes or oral irrigators are needed to clean under the bridge and around the abutment teeth.

  • Regular dental checkups.
    Patients with dental bridges should visit the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings to ensure the bridge is healthy and functioning. These checkups may include x-rays to check the bridge and surrounding teeth.

  • Potential for damage.
    Dental bridges are prone to damage from chewing hard or sticky foods and may need to be repaired or replaced if they become damaged.


Dental implants and dental bridges are two popular options for replacing missing teeth. However, when it comes to durability, there are some differences between the two:

  • Lifespan:
    Dental implants are generally considered to be a more durable option. Dental implants can last 25 years or more with proper care and maintenance. On the other hand, dental bridges can last for more than 10 to 15 years before needing replacing.

  • Structural integrity:
    Dental implants are designed to be similar to natural teeth. They consist of a titanium post surgically embedded into the jawbone, which fuses with the bone over time to create a strong foundation for a crown or bridge. As a result, dental implants can withstand the same biting and chewing forces as natural teeth. Dental bridges, on the other hand, rely on neighbouring teeth for support, which can weaken those teeth over time.

  • Maintenance:
    Dental implants require little maintenance beyond regular brushing and flossing. Dental bridges, on the other hand, require special care to prevent tooth decay and gum disease around the supporting teeth. In addition, the crowns on either end of the bridge can trap food and bacteria, leading to oral health problems.

  • Cost:
    Dental implants are more expensive than dental bridges. However, because they last longer and require less maintenance, they may be a more cost-effective option in the long run.

Dental implants are generally considered the more durable option for replacing teeth. However, the right option for each individual will depend on several factors, including the location of the missing teeth, the health of the surrounding teeth and gums, and the patient’s budget and personal preferences.


  • Dental implants:
    The artificial tooth, or dental crown, is attached to the metal post embedded into the jawbone. Implants are designed to match the colour and shape of your real teeth, providing a seamless, natural look. The crown is individually made for each patient, ensuring a precise fit and aesthetic appearance.

  • Dental bridges:
    Dental bridges consist of one or more false teeth anchored to surrounding teeth. The bridge can be made of various materials, such as porcelain, ceramic, or zirconia. They are designed to blend in with the colour of your natural teeth.

Both dental implants and dental bridges can provide a natural-looking solution for missing teeth. However, dental implants provide a more seamless appearance as they are attached to implant posts embedded in bone, much like natural tooth roots. In addition, bridges may require altering the surrounding teeth, affecting their natural appearance.


Investing in dental implants has a higher upfront cost. They offer a secure and reliable solution to tooth loss, with prices ranging from \$3,000 to \$5,000 for a single implant.

Dental bridges are a cheaper option. They offer the potential for a more secure and comfortable smile, with costs from $1,800 to $5,000 depending on the materials used and the type of bridge chosen.

Dental implants are more expensive than other treatment options because of the complexity of the dental procedure. In addition, if you need additional treatments like a bone graft, this may add to the cost.

Length of Recovery

The recovery period for dental implant treatment is longer compared to dental bridges. The process of implant placement and osseointegration can take several months to complete. Dental patients may need to wear a temporary restoration while the implant heals. Depending on the individual case, the entire process can take several months to a year.

In contrast, dental bridges involve placing one or more false teeth between abutment teeth. While patients may experience some sensitivity or discomfort following the surgical procedure, recovery time is shorter than that for dental implants.

Covered Under Health Funds?

Not all health funds cover dental implants. However, it’s worth double-checking. Some private health fund providers may partially subsidise oral surgery costs.

Many private health fund providers offer coverage for dental bridges, so it’s essential to check with your provider to see what’s covered.

Overall Oral Health Benefits

Overall, dental implants have several health benefits compared to traditional bridges.

Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and act like natural teeth. As a result, they can be used like regular teeth and require no special maintenance or dental care. They also don’t affect other teeth in your mouth and don’t cause any damage or wear to neighbouring teeth.

The titanium posts used for the implant fuse with the jawbone and provide stability and support in the long term. This helps prevent bone loss and maintains your facial structure.

In comparison, dental bridges rely on having support from adjacent healthy teeth. They can sometimes cause discomfort, requiring further dental treatment to reduce sensitivity. Bridges can also be challenging to clean due to their complex design.

Both implants and bridges can provide a great solution for restoring your smile, so you must consult an experienced dentist who can help you decide which option is right for you based on your needs.

Final Thoughts

Replacing missing teeth is crucial to ensure dental health is in optimal condition. Whether you choose to get a dental implant or a bridge, you should consider the pros and cons of each one before making your decision. It’s also important to discuss which option is right for your health and desired outcome.

West Perth Dental Centre provides comprehensive dental services that cover tooth replacement options. Visit our dental clinic today to learn which tooth replacement procedure suits you!

Dr. Michael Wu


Dr. Michael Wu

Dr. Michael Wu holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Western Australia. He never stops learning and regularly attends post-graduate education seminars, courses, and conferences to ensure he is providing his patients with excellent dental care.

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