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Which is Better: A Traditional or Implant-Retained Bridge?

fit older man smiling

It’s amazing how just a few missing teeth can greatly affect every aspect of your life. Even if the rest of your teeth are in great shape, an unwanted gap can make it harder to eat, more difficult to speak, and turn smiling into an anxiety-inducing experience. Thankfully, if you are missing one or a few teeth in a row, there is a very reliable way to replace them that has already helped millions of people in the same situation: dental bridges. But, because everything has options these days, there are two versions of bridges in Massapequa: traditional and implant-retained. Which one would be best for your smile? We put these two options head-to-head in today’s blog.

How Does a Traditional Bridge Work?

A traditional dental bridge relies on the strength of the teeth on either side of the missing ones to support the new teeth. Crowns are placed on the teeth surrounding the gap, and these are bonded to additional crowns that literally bridge the space.

How Does an Implant-Retained Bridge Work?

With an implant-retained bridge, the prosthetic is held in place by a pair of dental implants positioned within the jawbone. Each implant is topped with a porcelain crown, and just like a traditional bridge, these crowns give the prosthetic teeth attached to them stability so they stay put during eating and speaking.

How Do They Compare?

The main differences between these two treatments can be broken down into 4 categories:

  • Appearance: The new teeth used for bridges can be made of porcelain or ceramic so they look just like natural ones, but with a traditional bridge, a black line can sometimes develop between the bottom of the crowns and the supporting teeth/gums. This isn’t an issue with implant bridges because the prosthetic is secured from below the gum line.
  • Price: Upfront, implant bridges tend to cost much more than traditional ones. This is because the procedure to place them involves a minor surgery. However, because implant bridges last so much longer than traditional ones, they typically end up costing less over time because a patient doesn’t have to replace their prosthetic as often.
  • Longevity: A traditional bridge tends to last about 7-10 years on average, while an implant bridge can easily last for 30+ years.
  • Convenience: The process to get a traditional bridge can usually be completed in just two to three appointments over the course of a few weeks, while the implant procedure requires surgery and can take up to several months.

And the Winner Is…

…it depends! Either bridge option can deliver lasting, life-changing results when provided by a qualified dentist, and it’s really up to a patient’s preferences when it comes to the trade-offs between them. Thankfully, you don’t have to make this decision alone—simply talk to your dentist, discuss your wants and concerns, and they’ll be happy to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction. Whichever one you choose, it will help restore your smile and oral health for years to come, which is always a wise decision!

About the Author

Dr. Allan Mohr is an award-winning dentist on Long Island who is passionate about creating picture-perfect smiles that stand the test of time. He has completed training at some of the world’s most respected dental institutions, including the Pankey Institute and Dawson Academy. He can provide both traditional and implant-retained bridges and offers virtual consultations.  If you would like to learn how Dr. Mohr can help you reclaim your complete smile, contact our team today.

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