A dental implant is a prosthetic crown placed over a titanium implant that's inserted into the gums, and a bridge is a simple prosthetic tooth that connects to nearby teeth, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dental implants are also more practical in terms of value and effectiveness.
Dental implants are implemented through several procedures, with the overall goal of replacing a missing tooth with a threaded titanium implant covered by a fake crown, says the AACD. The implant connects to the alveolus, the bone pocket that the original tooth connected to, and may eventually bond with the bone in the same way the original tooth did. This is a major part of what makes this procedure a more cost-effective solution, as it prevents bone loss that typically occurs from other procedures.
In a comparison based on upfront costs alone, dental bridges are more affordable, claims the AACD. However, the surrounding teeth must be filed down in order for the bridge to fit properly, which makes the existing teeth more susceptible to conditions such as tooth decay, plaque buildup and periodontal disease that may require additional procedures to correct. Dental bridges also tend to be fixed and cannot be removed through basic procedures.