Choosing Between a Bridge and a Dental Implant

Helping you to make an informed decision about your tooth replacement options.

It’s always best to replace a missing tooth or teeth as if gaps are left in the mouth, the remaining teeth alongside the gap can move out of position which can cause problems.

There are also the cosmetic implications of missing teeth which can often have a long term detrimental effect on self-confidence and general well-being, affecting the person’s quality of life.

Treatments available

When it comes to replacing a missing or damaged tooth or teeth, the treatment options that we offer here at Cygnet Dental Practice, amongst others, include using either a dental implant or a dental bridge.


A bridge is an ideal treatment for replacing one or more missing teeth which involves using crowns that are fitted on the teeth either side of the gap. These crowns are used to support the new replacement tooth and the term ‘bridge’ is used, because the treatment is effectively ‘bridging’ the gap between the supporting teeth.

Procedure for fitting a bridge

During the first treatment, our experienced Wickford dentist will prepare the teeth either side of the gap by removing a small amount of the outer layer of their enamel in readiness for the supporting crowns. After preparing the teeth, the dentist will take an impression of the now prepared teeth and the gap which allows for the manufacture of both the new crowns, and the bridge tooth – sometimes called a “pontic”.

At the end of the preparation procedure, the dentist will fit a temporary bridge, this will help to protect the prepared teeth. Once the new bridge has been built, the temporary bridge will be removed and the new permanent one fitted. The new bridge will be made from natural coloured materials to help keep it as unobtrusive as possible.

Dental implant

A dental implant requires the fitting of small titanium screws into the bone of the jaw. The bone will grow around the implants, and will eventually fully integrate forming a solid foundation to which either a crown or a denture can be attached. The implant is considered by many to be the best option for replacing a missing tooth, and is ideal for replacing one or in procedures for many teeth at once.


During the consultation, the dentist will first take x-rays or scans of the mouth. This allows checks to ensure that there is sufficient bone present to accept the implants and if there is, then the implants will be placed into the jaw under local anaesthetic. The implants will then be left to heal, and for the bone to grow around them, taking around 12 weeks to complete.

Finally the replacement denture or crown will be built and attached to the implant using a support collar called an abutment.

Which treatment is best for me?

Either treatment can provide excellent results, helping to replace the missing teeth, and helping to alleviate the myriad problems that missing teeth can cause. Your dentist will advise you as to which procedure is most suitable for you, based on your individual circumstances and budget.

Contact us

If you live in the Wickford area, and have missing or damaged teeth, then please contact the practice on 01268 733078. One of our experienced teeth replacement dentists will be very happy to speak to you, and will answer any questions or concerns that you may have about any of our procedures. They organise a consultation for you, where one of our team members will help you to make an educated decision as to which treatment is best.