Having a beautiful set of teeth after drug addiction

Dental Implants and Fixed Bridges Compared

by Danielle Fletcher

If you have a tooth extracted, your dentist will probably suggest an implant or a three-unit fixed bridge to replace it with. But which would be the best option? Here's a comparison of implants and fixed bridges to help you make an informed decision, guided by your dental professional.


A dental implant replaces the root of the tooth, as well as the crown. The implant is fused into the jawbone and the crown is subsequently attached to it. Implants look and function just light natural teeth and are permanent. You would be a suitable candidate for an implant if you have good bone quality and healthy teeth and gums adjacent to the gap.

Dental implants look good and don't affect the adjacent teeth. They will not decay and you will be less likely to develop gum disease or suffer from abscesses since the tooth root has been replaced with a metal implant.

Dental implants are generally more expensive than bridgework and require more planning time. Minor surgery is required in order to install the implant, meaning that there is a small risk of infection and recovery can be painful. Before you can have the crown fitted to the implant, you must wait for the site to heal completely and for bone to form around the implant. This delay can be frustrating and inconvenient.

Fixed bridges

A fixed bridge is a prosthesis that is fixed into position by attaching it to the remaining teeth either side of the gap left by the tooth that you have had removed. The adjacent teeth act like the supports of a bridge, hence the name.

The enamel on the abutment teeth is removed and replaced by crowns. The false tooth is then attached to the crowns so that it fills the gap. A fixed bridge functions and looks just like your normal teeth and is designed to be permanent, although you may require further dental work if the abutment teeth later develop problems.

A fixed bridge is a more cost effective alternative to an implant and the results are pretty much immediate. You will need to attend your dental clinic for a couple of initial appointments so that a mould can be made for the bridge and then again to have the bridge fitted.

However, you will need to have some enamel removed from the teeth adjacent to the gap, which could lead to subsequent tooth decay. If your teeth already have crowns, they will need to be removed and re-done prior to the bridge being fitted. If the nerves in the area are sensitive, you may have to have root canal treatment before the bridgework can be done.