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What Makes Dental Implants Last Longer Than Bridges?

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If you have one or more missing teeth, it's likely that you're looking into choosing an artificial replacement. There are lots of options, including dental implants and bridges. Both are popular choices, but you may have heard that bridges just don't last as long as dental implants on average. If you're curious as to why this is, and what the advantages of dental implants are, here's what you should know.

Internal vs. External

One of the biggest reasons why dental implants last longer than dental bridges is because of the way that they're constructed.

Dental implants are primarily hidden under the surface of your gums. The implant itself, a small titanium peg, is inserted into the gums and then only a small knob on top is left exposed. This is then covered by a dental crown.

In comparison, all of the parts of a dental bridge that are necessary to hold it in place are exposed. Wires are utilized to connect the bridge, and the bridge sits on top of your gums. As a result, more wear and tear naturally occurs with a bridge, while a dental implant is protected from most of this by your gums. 

Reliance on Teeth

Another thing that brings dental bridges down in durability is that they rely on neighboring teeth. In general, bridges are either connected to remaining teeth that you have or dental implants. In the case of using real teeth, this can cause wear and tear on those teeth over a long period of time. When you chew and bite down on a bridge, it puts slight pressure on the teeth holding it in place on either side, which over a long period of time, can potentially pull these teeth out of their normal position or damage them. Connecting a bridge to dental implants avoids these problems, but if you only have one or two missing teeth, you can just get the implants instead of having a bridge attached on top of that.

Your Body's Power

Finally, one of the main reasons why dental implants are so strong and long-lasting is because they utilize your body's own power and capabilities. Once an implant is in place, your own bones and gums will close up around it, supporting it from the top to the very bottom. Bone is very strong, and as such, nothing will harm the dental implant outside of extreme force, like a sudden serious blow to the face. This is the kind of injury that could also damage a real tooth, meaning that real teeth and dental implants are around equal levels of strength and durability.