If you lost a tooth and want to have it replaced, then you probably faced the dilemma of choosing between a three-unit bridge and a dental implant.
Dental implants are the most successful type of treatment that dentistry has to offer and even though three-unit bridges have successfully been used for several years, the excellent survival rates of implants prove that this treatment modality is here to stay for good.
Lets discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each solution separately.
Three- Unit Bridge
- Quick treatment.
- Costs less than an implant.
- Does not require any surgical procedure.
- The adjacent teeth need to be prepared, loosing a significant amount of tooth structure.
- Does not last as long as dental implants do.
- When a bridge fails, usually you loose an abutment tooth too.
- Needs special hygiene.
- The treatment does not involve the neighboring teeth.
- Prevents further bone loss
- Excellent survival rate.
- Dental floss and regular brushing is all you need to take care of the implant.
- A surgical procedure is involved.
- Treatment may take 3-6 months.
- Costs more than a three unit bridge.
From all the advantages and disadvantages, keep in mind the fact that a dental bridge requires reduction of the adjacent teeth.
If in the long run the bridge fails and you loose an abutment tooth, then you have to spend more. The cost of a dental implant may seem high at first but saves you money in the long run.
You can make the choice that you prefer, but if you ask me I would go for the implant.
In any case, make sure that you are being treated by a dentist who is familiar with dental implants and can provide you with the best possible care.
Domna Evangelidou, DDS, Prosthodontist