Choosing Dental Implants, Bridges or Dentures?

implants bridges or denturesMissing teeth can be replaced with dental implants, bridges or dentures. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on the health of your teeth and your budget.

With 29 years of experience in dentistry, Dr. Sushko will evaluate your teeth and gums and help you choose the best option.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a tooth that feels and functions like a natural tooth. It is a permanent fixture of titanium posts anchored to the jawbone and topped with individual replacement teeth or a bridge that screws or cements into the posts.

Read more about Dental Implants here.


A bridge is a dental restoration that spans an area that has no teeth and is connected to natural teeth at each end. A typical bridge consists of a pontic (a filler tooth) that is attached to two surrounding abutments (crowns). After completion, this bridge structure is then bonded into the mouth.

Read more about Bridges here.


Dentures, partial or complete, replace either the bottom arch or the top arch of your mouth.

Read more about Dentures here.

The Advantages of Dental Implants over Bridges

  • Your mouth will be restored as closely as possible to its natural state
  • Deter further tooth loss. When a bridge "goes bad", it usually means the loss of one or more teeth that support the bridge
  • Don't need to cut down adjacent teeth
dental implants

The two middle teeth are implants.

The Advantages of Bridges Over Dental Implants

  • Dental Implants can take longer to place. From extraction to healing to implant placement, it can be several months before you get a functional crown
  • Dental implants involve surgery
  • The initial cost of an implant will be higher than that of a fixed bridge

The Advantages of Dental Implants over Dentures

  • Your mouth will be restored as closely as possible to its natural state
  • Permanently fixed & won't loosen
  • Keeps you looking younger by preventing shrinkage of jawbone
  • Deter further bone loss
  • No adhesives
  • Allow you to eat all foods
implants and dentures
dentures and implants

This patient received a combination of implants and dentures, which is a preferable alternative to dentures alone.

Fixed bridges and removable dentures are not the perfect solution for missing teeth and often come with a number of other problems. Removable dentures may slip or cause embarrassing clicking sounds while eating or speaking. Of even greater concern, fixed bridges often require the partial cutting of adjacent healthy teeth, and removable dentures may lead to bone loss in the area where the tooth or teeth are missing.

Recurrent decay, periodontal (gum) disease and other factors often doom fixed bridgework to early failure. For these reasons, fixed bridges and removable dentures usually need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years, compared to an average 25-year life span for dental implants.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

The ideal candidate for a dental implant has good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant. Some people who have lost bone in their jaw still can get implants by having a bone-grafting procedure. People who are currently wearing partial or full dentures can replace these with dental implants, or use implants to stabilize and secure the denture, making it much more comfortable. People who are not good candidates for dental implants include:

  • Young patients whose jawbones have not fully developed
  • Pregnant women
  • Heavy smokers - smoking impedes healing in the mouth and can reduce the likelihood that implants will be successful. However, this doesn't eliminate the possibility of getting dental implants.
  • People with certain medical conditions.
  • Patients who take certain medications
  • People who severely grind or clench their teeth — these habits can place too much pressure on the implants and increase the risk of failure.

$1 New Patient Consultation

Not sure which solution is best for you? Take advantage of Dr. Sushko's New Patient Consultation. Dr. Sushko will evaluate the state of your teeth and gums, take any needed x-rays and recommend the tooth-replacement solution that will work best for you.