Bridge or Implant: Which is Best for You?

A dental bridge or implant are two options your dentist may suggest to you to replace a missing tooth, and each option has its advantages. Before you make a decision, read on to learn the differences between the two and discover which one may be best for you.

Dental Bridges and Implants

Dental bridges and implants are constructed differently. A bridge is made of a false tooth suspended between two crowns that the dentist cements onto prepared natural teeth on either side. An implant is a false tooth that's attached to a titanium post the periodontist or oral surgeon has inserted in the jaw bone. The false teeth and crowns in bridges and the false teeth in implants are matched to the color of the surrounding teeth, but, even so, a bridge may be slightly more noticeable. Unlike an implant, the false tooth of a bridge isn't embedded in the gum.

Restoring a Smile

The location of the missing tooth is important when deciding between a bridge or implant as a replacement. If you choose a bridge to replace a tooth toward the back of the mouth, it won't be visible when you smile. However, if the bridge is to replace a missing tooth at the front of your mouth, the effect may not look natural. The American Dental Association recommends implants for restoring a natural, attractive smile that looks like it's always has been that way.

Other Advantages of Implants

Implants also help prevent the jaw bone from deteriorating, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. When teeth fall out or are extracted, the jaw bone shrinks over time and changes the face's appearance and smile. An implant is embedded in the jaw bone, and using the new tooth to bite and chew stimulates the bone, helping to prevent it from shrinking. However, the false tooth in a dental bridge doesn't contact the jaw bone, so there may be bone loss.

Time and Cost Considerations

When choosing between a bridge or implant, time and cost may be important to you. Your dentist can provide a bridge over two visits within a few weeks, but if you opt for an implant the waiting time is longer — it takes three to six months for the jaw bone to grow around the titanium post of the implant. On the other hand, a dental bridge may be better for your budget.


Both bridges and implants should be cared for similarly, so they're comparable in that regard. For example, brush them twice a day with toothpaste, such as Colgate Total® Advanced Deep Clean Toothpaste, to keep them stain-free.

Needs vary from patient to patient when it comes to replacing a missing tooth. Your dentist can help you decide the best option for you. Whether you choose a bridge or implant, you can restore your happy, confident smile.

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Top Oral Care Tips for IMPLANTS

Most dental implants are successful, and there are a few steps you can take to help ensure success and make your implant last.

  • Practice good oral hygiene – brush twice a day and floss once daily. Using interdental brushes, brushes that slide between teeth, can help clean the hard to reach areas around your implant.

  • Quit smoking – smoking can weaken the bone structure and can contribute to implant failure.

  • Visit your dentist – cleanings and exams every six months can help ensure your implant is in good condition, and that it stays that way.

  • Avoid chewing on hard foods – don’t chew on hard items such as ice and hard candy because they can break the crown and your natural teeth.

Safeguard your implants for the future

The longevity and success of implants depends on your oral hygiene. Use one of our toothpastes to keep your mouth clean and healthy.