How to restore teeth: bridge, crown or implantation?

A lost tooth requires urgent restoration. The absence of even one puts an excessive load on the others, which leads to their displacement and destruction. Most often, a dentist offers a bridge prosthetics or implantation to replace a lost tooth.

  • 1
    What is the difference between implantation and classical bridge prosthetics?
  • 2
    What are the contraindications for both procedures?
  • 3
    Is it possible to restore teeth without damaging the adjacent ones?
  • 4
    Is it worth paying more for an implantation?
  • 5
    Can a full implantation be replaced with a crown?

The answers to the most frequent questions are later in the article.

What is tooth implantation

Implantation is a complete replacement of a lost tooth. In place of the removed root, a titanium pin is placed in the bone, on which the crown is fixed.

Replacement is performed immediately after removal: in this case, the post immediately enters one of the root canals. Now this method of implantation is performed more often.

However, if you went to the doctor after the healing of the tooth socket, it is not a problem. The operation is possible, but you have to drill a hole to secure the support rod.

Single lost teeth are restored with crowns. In the absence of three or more adjacent teeth, prosthetics with a bridge on 2 implants are performed.

Externally implanted teeth are no different from real ones.

What is a crown and can it replace an implant?

A crown is a fixed microprosthesis of a tooth that protects its visible part from external influences or serves as an aesthetic prosthesis for the visible part of a tooth during restoration. Crowns are made by dental technicians according to an individual impression. To ensure that the prosthesis fits perfectly, does not destroy the adjacent teeth and gums, the impression is processed in a special program to create a three-dimensional model.

The crown is attached to the implanted post or adjacent teeth. Most often these are cermet, ceramic products or zirconium dioxide prostheses.

Can a crown replace a full-fledged implant?

Not! If the root is damaged, the crown cannot be installed without first removing the root and placing the implant. Installation of a crown without a pin is carried out only in case of partial damage to the visible part of the tooth, but not in any way to restore the destroyed one.

What is a dental bridge

But the dental bridge, along with implantation, is considered as a method of complete restoration of the dentition. It consists of several adjacent dentures, placed on a metal frame. It is fixed on the abutment teeth.

The bridge is mounted in the dentition using special crowns, clasps, stump inlays.

Bridges, mainly metal-ceramic, are characterized by high strength and resistance to chewing stress, acids and food colors. Moreover, they belong to the budget types of prosthetics.

Is it possible to prosthetics teeth without affecting the adjacent ones?

The main feature and at the same time disadvantage of the bridge is that it rests on the owner’s own teeth. A high-quality metal-ceramic construction can last up to 15 years, but there are often cases in which during this time it manages to destroy the adjacent tooth.

The fact is that to fix the bridge on two adjacent, often absolutely healthy teeth, they have to:

  • depulp (remove nerves and a bundle of vessels feeding the tooth),
  • grind around the perimeter to a conical shape to fit the crown.

In the event that the teeth adjacent to the defective row are severely destroyed, a stump tab is made on them, on which the crown will already be placed.

Among other things, the chewing load of the entire bridge structure falls on the roots of the teeth under the crowns. That is, the bridge significantly overloads the abutment teeth.

Is it possible to replace several teeth without affecting the adjacent ones?

Yes, but only by implantation. Her technique is based on the rehabilitation of lost teeth without damaging healthy ones. In place of the missing teeth, two pins with crowns and prostheses between them are placed.

The main differences between implantation and bridge prosthetics

And yet, in terms of popularity, the method of bridge prosthetics today is not inferior to implantation. Practical design, relatively quick installation and low price speaks in her favor.

The implant is considered to be more “healthy”, aesthetic, high-tech, but expensive option.

For an objective assessment, it is worth considering the main differences between two similar technologies for restoring lost teeth:

As a rule, it restores only 2-4 teeth.
Any number of adjacent missing teeth can be replaced and even a toothless jaw can be restored.
Installation of the structure involves the preparation of abutment teeth, which further leads to their destruction.The adjacent teeth remain intact.
Requires the obligatory presence of adjacent teeth for support.Suitable for end defects of the jaw.
The teeth on which the bridge is fixed are subjected to a load equivalent to about 40-50 kg.The chewing load is transferred to the implanted units, evenly distributed over the bone and does not harm other teeth.
After the installation of the bridge, a small gap remains between it and the gum, in which food particles can accumulate, provoking the development of pathogenic microflora.
Over time, the implant grows together with the bone tissue.
The term for installing the bridge with all the procedures takes no more than a month. The addiction period is only 8-10 hours.
Taking into account preliminary diagnostic procedures, implantation of one tooth takes about 2-3 months. Taking into account the period of implant engraftment – up to 9 months.
The bridge will hold, on average, 8-10 years.
The service life of the implant, depending on the materials, implantation technology and individual characteristics, varies from 10 years to a lifetime warranty.
Bridge prosthetics refers to the budget type of restoration of the dentition. Although, the final cost depends on the material of the crown (ceramics are more expensive, cermets are cheaper) and the method of installation.
Implantation is an expensive procedure in comparison with analogues.

Протипоказання для установки моста і імпланта

Мостовідний протез не можна встановлювати при:

  • 1
  • 2
    acute inflammatory processes in the mouth and throat. The procedure is performed after recovery;
  • 3
    the absence of more than one molar or 4 teeth in the “smile zone”;
  • 4
    bite pathologies;
  • 5
    diseases of the jaw bone tissue;
  • 6
    severe periodontal disease and periodontitis.

Also, the procedure is not used for deep bite, low-placed dental crowns, pathological abrasion of enamel.

Implantation, being an operation, has much broader general contraindications:

  • unstable diabetes;
  • pathology of the nervous system;
  • tuberculosis;
  • pathology of the cardiovascular system;
  • increased tone of the chewing muscles,
  • problems with blood clotting;
  • inadmissibility of anesthesia;
  • aphthous stomatitis;
  • immunopathological diseases and the like.

Also, a contraindication in individual cases may be serious occlusion pathologies, pregnancy, reduced bone volume, etc. The list is quite large.

But, unlike the installation of a bridge, implantation in some cases can be performed with periodontal diseases, occlusion, incorrect (but not critical) bite and other problems that are contraindications to dental bridges.


Implantation is an innovative high-tech technique for restoring the dentition, which can replace any, even terminal defects of the jaw and subsequently ensures the healthy functioning of all teeth without affecting the adjacent teeth.

Among the disadvantages are the high cost, a wide list of contraindications and a long treatment period when using the traditional two-stage procedure and bone tissue restoration.

The installation of the bridge is much cheaper and faster. However, its service life is limited to a maximum of 10-15 years and at the same time adjacent teeth are at risk of decay.

There is a technology that uses zirconium dioxide crowns. With them, you can practically not grind dental tissues. However, the cost of such a procedure is comparable to the cost of implantation with zirconium crowns.