Meng-Chieh Lee D.D.S., M.M.Sc.

Dental Implants and Bridges: What’s the Difference?

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! This is an effort to celebrate all the work that dental hygienists do and to help raise awareness on the importance of good oral health. Your oral health is a very important part of your health overall, so it’s important to practice good habits year-round.

Be sure to brush every day, floss regularly, and schedule your regular checkups and cleanings! The team at BRAIDC is always dedicated to keeping your smile healthy and happy. Here are a few things that you should know about bridges and dental implants!

What’s a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are surgical components that are screwed into your jaw to support dental work, such as a crown, bridge, or to keep dentures in place. They are designed to look like a screw and are made of surgical-grade titanium.

Once in place, dental implants act as an artificial root. This allows a crown, bridge, or denture to be attached to the implant to restore tooth form and function. After careful evaluation, an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist will place the dental implant in the jaw and allow three to four months for healing. Once the implant site has healed, Dr. Lee will complete the restoration.

Compared to a fixed bridge, a dental implant offers the advantage of replacing a single tooth without involving neighboring teeth. While dentures may be a more economic choice, dental implants provide better long-term options.

What’s a Bridge?

A bridge is a fixed dental restoration made from the same materials as a crown. They are often used to replace on or two missing teeth. Teeth on either side of a missing tooth are crowned, and then the crowns are linked by a pontic (artificial fake tooth). This replaces the missing tooth and restores full function to the mouth and jaw. Because it’s cemented onto the teeth, a dental bridge can’t be removed. There are four different types of bridges:

  • Traditional Bridges
  • Cantilever Bridges
  • Maryland Bridges
  • Implant Supported Bridges

How Are They Different?

Dental Implants are inserted into the jawbone at the site of a missing tooth. A bridge is attached to your existing teeth on each side of a gap.


No matter what type of cosmetic dental work you need, maintenance is extremely important. Here are the three key aspects of maintenance after your procedure”

  • Regular cleanings are the most important part of after care.
  • Good home care is the daily brushing, flossing, and good dental habits in between visits.
  • Fluoride as necessary. Varnish treatments, RX fluoride at home, and fluoride mouthwash may be recommended by the professionals.
  • Night guards as necessary. If you’re supposed to wear them, please do!

Every mouth is different, but the team at BRAIDC will be able to help you find the best fit to suit your individual needs. To schedule your cleaning or procedure, call us today!

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