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14 January 2019

Dental Implants Manchester VS Tooth Bridge – Which is Best?

When it comes to dental implants, Manchester residents should know that they’re regarded as the gold standard of missing teeth replacement. But how do they compare with a conventional tooth bridge?

Let’s face it, when you have a gappy smile, no amount of teeth whitening in Stockport is going to change the fact that your smile is less than perfect. Even when the gap isn’t in the smile line, any remaining teeth will start to gravitate towards the gap. As a result, it’s likely to cause problems for your teeth in the long run.

At our Smiles dental Manchester clinic, we help many people who come to us with missing teeth. However, one of the first decisions patients need to make is the type of restoration the require. Naturally, both dental implants and conventional dental bridges have pros and cons and inevitably, it’s up to patients to decide which is best for them. So in order to help, we’ve put together this post explaining the why’s and wherefores’ of each type. Let’s dive in and take a look…

Dental implant vs dental bridge cost

When it comes to initial outlay, there’s no getting away from the fact that dental implants in Manchester don’t come cheap. As an example an implant-based restoration is likely to cost you anywhere between £1000 and £2500 per tooth on average. Alternatively, a conventional dental bridge is around 60% -70% cheaper, falling in at somewhere between £400 and £700 per tooth.

If your decision is based on cost alone, then on the face of it, a conventional dental bridge wins hands down. After all, both have the ability to restore a full smile so why pay 2-3 times more for a dental implant? The answer lies in the fact that implant-based restorations have some significant benefits over their conventional counterparts, and all will be revealed as we go through this comparison.

Surgery vs non-surgery

If you really can’t face a surgical procedure, then you might prefer to opt for a conventional dental bridge. Where a dental implant is a free-standing platform that is anchored into the jawbone of the gap, a tooth bridge relies on the support of adjacent teeth in order to carry the framework, which in turn supports the ‘bridging’ tooth. The whole bridging procedure can be carried out during a couple of treatments totalling no more than 3-4 hours Quick, easy, simple, job done!.

On the contrary, while the actual surgery for a dental implant may only take an hour or less, the patient needs to set aside healing time in order for any remaining bone tissue merge with the titanium implant. This usually takes anywhere between 2-4 months and is what gives the implant it’s distinctive solid platform where a permanent crown (the artificial tooth part) can then be fitted.

However, because dental implants provide their own support, they don’t rely on any other teeth. Unfortunately conventional bridges do, and even though the process is carried out without surgery, the adjacent supporting teeth will need to be filed down and capped in order to take the bridging framework. Over time, this can cause the otherwise healthy teeth to become compromised.

The bone loss factor

One of the things that any smiles dental Manchester clinic will tell you is that when a tooth become missing, the bone tissue that once supported the tooth root is no longer needed. As a result, more and more bone tissue is reabsorbed back into the body and will continue over time.

To put this into perspective – did you know that in the first year after tooth loss, around 25% of the facial bone can be lost, resulting in jaw shrinkage and an aged look?

Unfortunately, where a conventional bridge will restore a smile aesthetically, it isn’t able to halt the bone loss process. Because of this, a conventional bridge will need replacing every 10 years or so, as the shape of your face changes.

Alternatively, when a patient opts for dental implants in Manchester, or indeed anywhere else in the world, they’re placed directly into the jaw bone. As such, any remaining bone tissue is re-stimulated, and any further bone loss is halted. No more ageing look!

Moreover, once in position, provided that your implant is cared for correctly, it can easily last for several decades or more. Suddenly as a long-term investment an implant-based tooth restoration can save you money in the long-term.

Your oral care routine

It’s fair to say that your ability to keep your mouth healthy will become easier with a dental implant. Because bridges are cemented into place and involve at least 3 crowns connected together to fill one tooth gap, it can present challenges when it comes to brushing and flossing. For this reason, extra hygiene care is needed along with a meticulous oral routine.

In contrast, because a dental implant looks, feels and acts just like a natural tooth, patients can effectively brush in and around their implant just as they would a normal tooth, making oral care that much easier.

Aesthetics

So what about aesthetically, which is best?

Often a dental implants will look the more natural and will usually deliver the most pleasing result. However, dental crowns have come a long way in recent years and can now be made to exactly match your other teeth in terms of colour.

What about whitening teeth fitted with crowns?

As with any crown type, it’s always best to opt for teeth whitening (in Stockport) first. The reason for this is that crowns can’t be whitened like your natural tooth enamel, so it’s well worth getting your teeth whitened first and then look to colour-match your new crown to your whiter, brighter smile. Your dentist will be able to advise you on this anyway.

Reasons for both options

In years gone by, when it came to replacing a missing tooth, a tooth bridge was your only option. Even today the process involves prepping adjacent teeth to support the bridging framework. Clearly this isn’t always an ideal scenario. Dental implants however, are a self-supporting standalone option. Ultimately, they don’t rely on other surrounding teeth to keep then in position.

Nevertheless, a tooth bridge may still be your best option if your teeth or tooth has been lost for a long time. Any gum and/or bone would have receded and extra procedures such as bone grafting may be needed before any implant restorations can take place. This will incur more surgery time and cost.

So what’s it to be – a dental implant in Manchester or a tooth bridge? Our smile dental Manchester team at Church Road Dental and Cosmetics will talk you through your options. If you have a missing tooth or teeth and want to do something about it, then talk to our dentist today on 0161 486 0743 and take the first steps towards a healthier smile and a happier you!

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