dental bridges

When deciding on a restorative dental solution, it is crucial to consider all your options. A common question patients often face when looking for a tooth replacement solution is if they should choose a dental bridge or a dental implant.

 Both are restorative solutions for missing teeth, and, although they function similarly, it is helpful to understand their differences. At Definitive Dental in Grand Prairie, TX, we provide all patients with thorough consultations to understand the pros and cons and compare the costs of each treatment option. When it comes to tooth implants vs. bridges, here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

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A dental bridge is a fixed restoration that fills the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Both dental bridges and implants are anchored inside the mouth, but bridges specifically join to one or more neighboring teeth, also known as abutment teeth. Bridges can be supported by natural teeth or by dental implants. The false teeth covering the gap are called pontics, which comes from the Latin word for bridge.

How Long Will Dental Bridges Last?

Dental bridges last around 5-10 years. Bridges involve using some of your natural teeth, which can cause the bridge to fail over time. This is because the teeth around the bridge are still vulnerable to decay and disease, which can affect the longevity of your bridge. 

Patients choosing dental bridges over implants should be especially careful with their dental habits and practice good oral hygiene at home to keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean and healthy. Dr. Peter Guirguis, our dentist in Grand Prairie, recommends brushing twice a day and flossing to ensure you carefully clean both the false and natural teeth. Visiting our office regularly can help keep your teeth clean and your restoration looking and feeling great.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges?

Comparing the pros and cons of dental bridges vs. tooth implants can be helpful when deciding between the two. Here are some of the pros and cons of dental bridges, especially compared to implants.

Pros of Dental Bridges

  • Surgery is not required.
  • Jawbone density is not an issue with bridges, and they do not require bone grafting.
  • Overall the bridge procedure is less invasive compared to dental implants.
  • Dental bridges are a quicker procedure for teeth replacement. The dentist can complete them in two visits over a couple of weeks.
  • Dental bridges tend to be less costly compared to implants.
  • Insurance companies are more likely to cover dental bridges.

Cons of Dental Bridges

  • The average lifetime of dental bridges is only 5-10 years, and patients must have them replaced after this period.
  • Dental bridges place more strain on the surrounding teeth they are attached to, and these teeth are prone to more damage than with implants. 
  • Bridges do not address the underlying structural issues of missing teeth.
  • With aging and bone loss, dental bridges will lose their natural-looking appearance.

What Is the Typical Cost of Dental Bridges?

The lower cost of bridges vs. tooth implants is one of the main reasons many patients prefer them. Their price depends on several factors, such as the materials used and the number of teeth or units involved. A traditional three-unit bridge for restoring one missing tooth typically costs about $1,000 per unit. Bonded bridges and the more expensive implant-supported bridges can range from $2,000-$5,000. 

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are more likely to be covered by dental insurance plans than implants. Expect partial coverage. For example, some plans cover up to 50% of the treatment. Call our office at 

(972) 646-0660 to see what your insurance plan may cover.

What Are Dental Implants?

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Dental implants are a permanent solution for patients that have missing, broken, or damaged teeth. They are durable teeth replacement options, acting like a screw placed into the jawbone. The screw serves as an artificial tooth root and provides a strong base for one or more artificial teeth. Unlike with dental bridges, the procedure for implants requires a healing period to give the implant time to fuse to the jawbone. This process allows the implant to look and function like a natural tooth.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

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Dental implants require multiple appointments in our office in Grand Prairie. The procedure for tooth implants takes a few months, unlike bridges. The first step involves placing the implant into the your jawbone. After this step, there is a healing period where we must give the implant time to fuse to the jawbone.

Part of our evaluation process for deciding on dental implants vs. dental bridges is to determine if you have adequate bone density in the jaw to support the implants. If needed, Dr. Guirguis can perform bone grafting to give patients the bone required to provide the necessary support. 

Once the healing process is complete, you will return to our office. Dr. Guirguis will place an abutment—or connector—on top of the implants to help secure the crown. We will give you custom crowns that match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth. You may need temporary crowns while we wait for the permanent ones to arrive from the lab.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?

One thing to know about dental implants is that they offer numerous advantages over bridges, but there are some drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of dental implants vs. bridges to help you decide.

Pros of Dental Implants

  • High-quality tooth implants are among the most durable options for tooth restoration. They can last up to 15 years or more with proper care, longer than bridges.
  • Implants place less strain on the surrounding teeth compared to bridges.
  • Implants lower the risk of long-term jaw issues and keep the underlying bone structure intact.
  • Implants are more natural-looking and functional than bridges.

Cons of Dental Implants

  • Sadly, many insurance companies consider implants to be purely cosmetic, meaning they are less likely to cover dental implants than bridges.
  • Dental implants are more expensive than bridges, especially if patients wish to restore several teeth.
  • Surgery is often necessary with implant procedures, and complications may arise.
  • The process of teeth implants can take up to 6 months and requires several visits.

What Is the Typical Cost of Dental Implants?

The cost of dental implants varies based on the type of implants, the material of the prosthetic tooth, and the number of implants placed. The typical price for a single tooth-colored crown is around $5,000. This price includes the implant, the crown, and the surgical placement. The cost of several dental implants vs. a bridge might be considerably higher, but the cost reflects the implants’ durability and the complex procedure for their surgical placement.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

The truth about dental insurance is that most plans consider tooth implants as a purely cosmetic treatment while they list bridges as more medically necessary. Some insurance plans will cover portions of a dental implant procedure as well. It’s best to review your insurance policy before deciding on dental implants vs. bridges. Likewise, consult with our office to learn about financing options and receive a professional recommendation for your best treatment.

Contact Dr. Peter Guirguis in Grand Prairie


Choosing the best option is important, and our team at Definitive Dental can help you decide. We will give you all the information you need and present you with options to help you achieve that bright white smile.

If you’re looking for dentistry done right, contact us to schedule your consultation with Dr. Peter Guirguis. We look forward to taking your smile to new heights.

football player wearing a mouth guard

Dental mouthguards may be worn to prevent patients from grinding or clenching their teeth. They are also used to help with sleep apnea symptoms and to protect teeth from injury during sports. At Definitive Dental in Grand Prairie, we work with patients who have concerns about protecting their teeth, and part of our evaluation process is to determine if patients may benefit from a mouthguard.

As with any device, it is important to understand how to clean a mouthguard after each use. Taking care of your mouthguard is important to ensure that the guard continues to protect your teeth properly. We recommend that patients who are learning how to clean a mouthguard simply add their guards to their daily oral hygiene routines at home.

Why You Need a Mouthguard

Before going over how to clean a mouthguard, let’s dive into why you might need a mouthguard in the first place. Your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard in one of several situations.

Playing Sports

When you play contact sports, your risk of falling and injuring your face is high. For this reason, your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard while engaging in athletic activities. 

It’s not just about protecting your teeth — a mouthguard keeps you from accidentally biting your tongue or lip if your head suddenly jerks forward.

Sleep Apnea

You might also be a good candidate for a mouthguard if you experience sleep apnea. This potentially dangerous sleep disorder may cause you to stop breathing temporarily while you’re asleep. This may prevent the brain from getting an adequate amount of oxygen, which will increase your chance of experiencing a stroke or heart disease. It may also lead to excessive snoring. As a result, you might feel groggy the following day.

However, a mouthguard will push your tongue and lower jaw forward, therefore keeping the airway open. This will help you to resolve your sleep apnea problem.

Grinding Teeth

You may also need a mouthguard if you have bruxism, a condition where you clench and grind your teeth while sleeping. Grinding can cause several problems, including sore gums, tooth pain, and jaw pain. It can additionally damage the teeth.

When you wear a mouthguard, the guard will keep your bottom and top teeth separated. This will prevent them from damaging each other when you are clenching or grinding.

Do You Need to Clean Your Mouthguard?

Yes. Much like toothbrushes, mouthguards may retain food debris and bacterial plaque. Because a mouthguard is porous, it provides excellent places for bacteria to hide. This is why it is important to learn how to clean a mouthguard.

As a general rule of thumb, you should rinse your mouthguard immediately after each use with warm or cool water. This helps to loosen up any bacteria or plaque that may have built up while you were wearing the device. Avoid using hot water to rinse the mouthguard, as it could distort its shape.

Then, you should clean it once a day and deep-clean the mouthguard once per week. If you don’t clean your mouthguard, you face a greater risk of infection and gum disease.

mouthguard on a model near a case

How to Clean a Mouthguard at Home

Step 1

Gently brush your mouthguard using water and a toothbrush with soft bristles. A separate toothbrush can be used for this process if you prefer not to use the brush used for your teeth. When you clean a mouthguard, avoid using toothpaste. This can be too abrasive and could damage the mouthguard.

Step 2

The next step in keeping a mouthguard clean involves using mouthwash to further clean your mouthguard. By submerging it in mouthwash, you’ll kill any germs remaining on the mouthguard. Afterward, rinse the mouthguard using cool water. Avoid soaking the mouthguard in the mouthwash overnight as this may damage it.

Step 3

Set the clean mouthguard on a clean surface, and allow it to dry completely. If you do not let your mouthguard dry completely bacteria growth may occur. Typically, the drying process takes between 15-30 minutes.

Step 4

Once the mouthguard is dry, store the guard in a case. This step is necessary to keep a mouthguard clean and protect it from any damage. It may be best to store the mouthguard outside of the bathroom to ensure that the humidity or steam does not cause the mouthguard to warp over time.

Step 5

In addition to learning how to clean a mouthguard itself, keep in mind that cleaning the mouthguard case is also an important step in keeping a mouthguard clean. Cases should be hand-washed every couple of days before newly cleaned guards are placed in them to remove any bacteria that have collected over time.

Deep Cleaning Your Mouthguard

Dr. Peter Guirguis, our dentist in Grand Prairie, recommends that to further keep a mouthguard clean, a patient should deep-clean their mouthguard at least once a week. If you’re wondering how to deep-clean a mouthguard, note that patients can use a denture cleaner from your local pharmacy, use mouthwash mixed with water, or mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Place the mouthguard in a bowl, and let it soak in the mixture of your choice for at least 30 minutes.

Once the mouthguard has soaked, you can remove it, and allow it to dry completely before placing it back in the case.

When to Replace Your Mouthguard

In addition to learning how to clean a mouthguard, you should get into the habit of replacing your mouthguard every 6-12 months. You’ll be able to tell that your mouthguard is worn out once it begins to feel different in the mouth or feels uncomfortable. This is because the constant biting impacts your mouthguard’s fit and shape over time.

When you visit our dental office in Grand Prairie, always bring your mouthguard and case. This gives our doctor the ability to inspect your mouthguard and ensure that the guard still fits properly. Our team can also help you to clean the guard if necessary during your appointment. Keeping a mouthguard clean is easy if you incorporate the cleaning process into your oral hygiene routine at home.

Learn How to Clean a Mouthguard and Keep Your Teeth Healthy at Definitive Dental

At Definitive Dental, we take pride in offering top-tier dental treatments in Grand Prairie. In addition to showing you how to clean a mouthguard, we’re ready to examine and clean your teeth regularly to keep them in the best shape possible. We can also treat any dental issues you may be experiencing, such as cavities before they grow into bigger problems.

Known for dentistry done right, our team at Definitive Dental is here to give you all of the options available to achieve that bright white smile. We welcome all patients, and we strive to always provide quality service that our patients can count on.

If you are interested in finding out more about mouthguards or are looking to get other dental restorations in Grand Prairie, please contact Dr. Peter Guirguis to schedule your consultation. Text us at (972) 646-0660, or use this contact form, and we’ll be happy to assist you!

Definitive Dental staff in Grand Prairie, Texas

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I boil a mouthguard?

It’s common to boil a pacifier to sterilize it, but we don’t recommend this method to clean a mouthguard. The hot water can distort the mouthguard’s shape so that it no longer fits.

  1. Can a mouthguard cause cavities?

Not directly — if you keep a mouthguard clean, it won’t cause you any oral health issues. However, if you do not care for the mouthguard properly, the guard may contribute to cavity development. That’s because your guard can trap bacteria against your teeth, and if your teeth are exposed to the bacteria for long periods, you run the risk of developing cavities.

  1. Can I share a mouthguard with siblings who play sports?

No. Never share mouthguards, as you’ll essentially be sharing food debris and bacteria with your siblings. In addition, if one person is sick, anyone else who uses their mouthguard may develop the same illness. We highly recommend that siblings who both have mouthguards use different colored cases so they do not confuse their guards accidentally.

  1. Can I wear a mouthguard with braces?

Yes. It’s best to wear a guard over braces to protect this orthodontic appliance. Your mouthguard will also protect your mouth’s soft tissue from damage or injury if you have an accident while wearing braces.

  1. Can you clean a mouthguard using soap?

Absolutely. If you’re curious about how to clean a mouthguard with soap, note that you can use dish soap or antibacterial soap to get the job done. You’ll first want to rinse your guard with cool or lukewarm water, then apply a little soap to it. Afterward, brush your guard until you have cleaned each spot. Then, rinse the guard to get rid of the soap, and allow the mouthguard to dry.

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