If you’re missing a tooth, the most common replacement options are a dental implant or a bridge. Both will fill the gap with an aesthetic and functional tooth, but a dental implant has several advantages.
Advantages of a Dental Implant vs. a Bridge
- Strong and natural-looking tooth
- Helps preserve the surrounding bone
- More cost-effective in the long term
Replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is the option most dentists and patients prefer because it gives you a strong and natural-looking tooth without sacrificing the health of adjacent teeth.
A dental implant is placed in the jawbone and acts just like the root of a tooth. After allowing time to heal, a porcelain or ceramic crown is placed on top of the implant. The result is a replacement tooth that looks, acts and feels like a natural tooth. The implant also helps preserve the surrounding bone.
A conventional dental bridge is cemented onto the two neighboring teeth. The supporting teeth must be modified or shaved down, and as a result they are more susceptible to gum recession and decay. With a bridge, the bone beneath the artificial tooth will deteriorate over time, which can cause a cosmetic defect.
If you have a dental bridge that is failing or needs replacement, an implant may still be an option for you.
Find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants with our FREE Virtual Smile Evaluation.
Cost of a Dental Implant vs. a Bridge
Some people opt for dental bridges because they are less expensive in the short term and generally have some insurance coverage. A bridge can last 7+ years, but it will need to be replaced eventually.
A dental implant costs more initially, but it is a more permanent solution. With good overall health and oral hygiene maintenance, implants can provide a lifetime solution. Once you consider the long-term benefits, you may find that a dental implant is the less expensive solution.
Your treatment cost will depend on your individual needs. There may be an additional cost if you need bone grafting procedures. Dental implants aren’t typically covered by insurance, but they can be claimed as a health expense on your taxes. Our clinics also provide extended payment options to help make your implant treatment affordable.
Payment Plan & Financing Options
Altima Dental is proud to offer our patients a 0% interest payment plan so our patients can get the treatment they need, when they need it. Visit this page for more info on our 0% Payment Plan.
Free Virtual Consultation
Find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants using our convenient Virtual Smile Evaluation. Just submit 5 photos of your teeth to get your free dental report and an invitation to a video consultation.
Are dental implants right for you?
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Am I a Suitable Candidate for Implants?
You are a suitable candidate for getting dental implants if you have one or more teeth missing in your mouth, have satisfactory physical and dental health, and you are not suffering from any chronic medical or dental illness. You may not be eligible for getting dental implants, if you are suffering from any systemic illness, pathology of the bones, or have any problems related to your heart, kidney or liver.
2. How Long is the Entire Procedure?
A dental implant is not a one-step process. Between waiting for your jaw bones to heal, scheduling visits to your dentist, and creating your crowns, the entire process generally takes 6-8 months to complete.
3. Do Dental Implants Hurt?
Dental implants represent one of the biggest advances in dentistry and have an overall success rate of about 95%. While every patient and implant case is different, many patients report minimal or no pain during the procedure.
4. How Much do Dental Implants Cost?
The question of what dental implants cost is always one of the first to come up when discussing the topic. The cost of dental implants varies based on the complexity of the procedure, how many implants are needed, and the type of prosthetic tooth used. In the long run, over multiple years, implants can be the most cost-effective solution to missing teeth. At Altima Dental, we offer an affordable dental implant payment plan, with 0% interest dental financing made available through PayBright. We will also provide a dental implant quote that includes all cost factors, which can also include bone grafting and other necessary procedures.
5. Do I Have Dental Implant Insurance Coverage?
Some dental insurance plans will cover implants. Refer to your information package provided by your insurance company or call their customer service line. Alternately, our friendly receptionist can help determine your dental implant insurance coverage.
6. How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With proper care and maintenance, you can expect your implants to last a lifetime. However, the service life of an implant mainly depends upon your own oral hygiene maintenance. The better your oral health and hygiene, the longer will your implants last.
7. How Can I Look After My Dental Implants?
The most important requirement for the care of your dental implants, is to look after your oral health. You should consider your implants as your natural teeth, and brush and floss them regularly, as you should do for your natural teeth. In addition, you should take special care of the gums surrounding the dental implants, as, one of the major reasons of failure of an implant is gum and periodontal infections (peri-implantitis).
8. Will I ever be without teeth during the implant process?
After implant surgery, the gums and mouth need time to heal before a crown or prosthetic tooth is placed. You are still able to use a denture during the healing period and we can always make provisions to have temporary teeth made. In some cases where dentures are worn, we ask patients to wear their dentures part-time if possible, during the initial healing period (3-14 days).
9. Will I have enough bone to be able to place the implant?
Although an exam, radiograph, or CT scan may be necessary to evaluate the amount of bone present, most patients have enough bone for the placement of implants. The longer a person has been missing teeth, the greater the amount of bone loss or atrophy that will have occurred. Sometimes insufficient bone will require the placement of a bone graft before implants are placed.
10. Does having gum disease (periodontal disease) affect my ability to get implants?
Depending on how severe it is and how well it has been controlled, gum disease can be a factor when having implants placed since it can lead to infection and implant failure. When possible, it’s typically better to address the gum disease and establish a good oral hygiene routine first, then proceed with the placement of implants.