1 – How is your financial situation?
While in the long term, dental implants are a cost effective way of replacing missing teeth, in terms of direct bridge vs implant cost it can be a more expensive option initially. Although many dentists offer flexible payment plans, it may still have a bearing on your decision. In addition, some insurance plans will cover for one treatment and not another and this too may understandably sway your decision.
2- What about expectations?
If you opt for a bridge over implant there’s usually less that can go wrong in terms of delivering a more predictable outcome. However with dental implants it’s different. There are lots of outside influences -many of which are out of the control of the patient or dentist – that can cause the implant to fail. So although the rewards of a permanent lifelike tooth restoration is one thing, the stakes are higher in terms of implant/bone graft failure. The question you need to ask yourself is… are you able to manage your expectations easily?
3 – What’s the condition of your bone?
While dental bridge disadvantages are many when compared to dental implants, one consideration that can’t be ignored is the condition of your bone. Remember that for implants to work they need to be anchored into healthy and sufficient bone mass in order for them to have the best chance of success. Of course if you don’t have sufficient bone density then you can always opt for a bone graft, but remember this is an extra expense and one that will add on more time to the implant procedure.
4 – What’s the condition of your adjacent teeth?
If your teeth situated adjacent to the gap are likely to need a crown in the near future, then you may want to consider a dental bridge procedure. Alternatively, if the adjacent teeth are in top condition with healthy and dense bone, then a dental implant may be the preferred choice.
If your diet and/or lifestyle puts you at risk from caries (cavities) then the evidence strongly favours dental implants. After all, we wouldn’t want to fit a dental bridge onto a person who is likely to lose their supporting teeth to decay.
6 – Where is the gap?
When it comes to your front tooth, bridge vs implant evidence suggests that there is little difference in terms of stability as to what is fitted. However if the gap is situated in the upper jaw then dental implant survival rates have a tendency to diminish slightly.
While smoking is clearly bad for your health, did you know that bacteria carried in cigarette smoke can attack the bone tissue surrounding newly placed implants? While smoking doesn’t necessarily mean that patients can’t have dental implants, they should be under no illusions that to best preserve the life of their dental implants, they may need to quit. If you aren’t ready to quit, or simply don’t want to, then a dental bridge may be the best option.
8 – Any previous experience with either treatment.
Often in the great dental bridge vs implant debate, choices are based on the fact that the patient is already familiar with the procedure. So if you’ve had implants before or currently wear a dental bridge, cost might not even come into it. Instead it might simply boil down to the type of treatment you know and trust.
9 – How many missing teeth have you got?
Often the more teeth people are missing the more it favours dental implants. The reason? Once an implant is placed it can be used for a variety of other roles, such as support for a fixed full or partial denture or for further bridge work.
So there you have it… 9 questions you should be asking yourself to help you make the right choice. If you’re still unsure at this point and need some further assistance then contact Smile Gallery Dental Clinic. We’re experts at restoring smiles, so why not talk to our friendly team today.
To book your consultation call us on (02) 9158 6115