What’s the difference between a bridge and an implant?
A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. A bridge is fabricated by reducing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth by a preparation pattern determined by the location of the teeth and by the material from which the bridge is fabricated. In other words, the abutment teeth are reduced in size to accommodate the material to be used to restore the size and shape of the original teeth in correct alignment and contact with the opposing teeth. The dimensions of the bridge are defined by Ante's Law: "The root surface area of the abutment teeth has to equal or surpass that of the teeth being replaced with pontics." The materials used for the bridges include gold, porcelain fused to metal, or in the correct situation porcelain alone. A Dental Implant is a "root" device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth. Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants, i.e., they appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a "root-form") and are placed within the bone. The bone of the jaw accepts and osseointegrates with the titanium post. Dental implants will fuse with the bone and can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures.