You cannot decide between a dental implant and a dental bridge?

Difference between dental implant and dental bridge

What are the differences between a dental implant and a dental bridge? A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic replacement consisting of a minimum of three units (parts), namely dental crowns. It is used to replace missing dental crowns.

A dental implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone and serves a completely different purpose. Unlike dental crowns or dental bridges that replace natural tooth crowns, a dental implant is a titanium screw that replaces the tooth’s root. To fully replace a tooth, after the osseointegration process (3-6 months after implant placement), or in the case of good primary stability, an abutment needs to be placed on it, replacing the prepared stump of a natural tooth. A dental crown is then placed on the abutment. Since implants are made of biocompatible materials, they easily and firmly bond with the bone. Under optimal conditions, which involve regular oral hygiene and good health, dental implants can serve us for a lifetime. They allow edentulous and partially edentulous patients to have fixed teeth without the need to file or grind down healthy adjacent teeth.

When and why choose a dental implant?


Nowdays, an implant placement is a routine procedure and the process itself is entirely painless (performed under local anaesthesia), safe and quick. For the placement of a single implant, an experienced oral surgeon typically requires a few minutes. If you have good bone quality and beautiful and healthy natural teeth adjacent to the gap left by a missing tooth, we recommend getting a dental implant. This way, you will spare your teeth from grinding and preserve the bone from further resorption.

A dental implant maintains bone structure. Bite forces are transmitted through the implant to the bone, thereby promoting the natural preservation of bone.


Why and when should you choose a dental bridge?

Implants cannot be placed if there is insufficient bone at the intended site. In such cases, we recommend creating a three-unit bridge, composed of three crowns, which requires grinding down two adjacent teeth whose stumps would serve as a strong support for the bridge. Alternatively, if one still wishes to get an implant, a bone augmentation procedure needs to be performed first; after waiting period of several months for the bone to heal, the implant can be placed.

A dental bridge on natural teeth, instead of dental implants, is recommended in the following situations:

  • when replacing an old bridge with a new one
  • if an adjacent tooth has large fillings or is substantially damaged and requires protection with a dental crown
  • if the person does not want to quit smoking
  • if the person has a bone defect
  • if the person has advanced periodontal disease
  • if the person’s health condition is not suitable for implant placement (osteoporosis, etc.)
  • in individuals younger than 18 years old because their jaw has not stopped growing.

Difference in price


The price of a premium dental implant with an abutment and dental crown is higher than that of a three-unit dental bridge. If the situation requires sinus lift (raising the floor of the sinus) and bone augmentation, the cost increase and the therapy will take longer.

Find out which option is better for you – a dental implant or a dental bridge. Visit us at the newly opened Miličić Dent Polyclinic for a free initial examination where you can learn first handedly about your dental situation and receive expert advice from specialist in oral surgery Dr. Marko Miličić.