Dental Bridges Vs Implants | Savina Dental Clinics Malta & Gozo

Dental Bridges Malta Options At

According to statistics, there is a high probability that you will face the following dental dilemma in your adult life – Dental Bridges or Implants?

If you are between 35 and 44, there is a 69% chance that you will have lost at least one tooth according to a recent study by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. The reasons for losing a tooth can be multiple, but the main causes are through an accident, tooth decay, gum disease or even failed root canal treatment.

You may be asking yourself so what if one tooth has to go, as long as it’s not one of my front teeth, who is going to notice? Unfortunately losing a tooth does not just cause cosmetic consequences but also further dental related issues.

Teeth by nature need to remain in place to ensure the other surrounding teeth stay in the correct position. If a tooth is missing, all the adjacent teeth will begin to move which can lead to adverse side-effects such as a misaligned bite, temporomandibular joint implication as well as an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Thankfully teeth replacement treatments have improved drastically over the past 25 years, and the following article will look at the merits and drawbacks of dental bridges and dental implants and what range of options are available in Malta at Savina Dental Clinics.

What is a Dental Bridge

Dental Bridge treatment falls under the category of Restorative Dentistry and is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The Dentist prepares the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth as support to hold the false tooth/teeth in between. The term bridge is used as it bridges the gap by using the adjacent teeth to hold a structure ( in this case a fake tooth) in place. The enamel of the adjacent teeth is filed down to allow the bridge to be fitted in parallel to the surrounding teeth to ensure the correct alignment and contact areas with the opposing teeth.

There are three main types of dental bridges available to fix different problems:

  • Traditional bridges: This involves creating a crown on either side of a missing tooth with the pontic (artificial tooth) placed in between. Traditional bridges are made out of a combination of porcelain with metal or ceramics
  • Cantilever bridges: This type of bridge is used when there are no adjacent teeth on one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This kind of procedure is not performed as often in recent years, and dentists do not recommend using this type of bridge for back teeth where too much pressure is forced upon the other teeth causing damage to the bridge.
  • Maryland bridges: These are also known as a resin bonded bridge and is either made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or plastic teeth and gums which are held up by a metal or porcelain framework. This metal structure is bonded to one side of your existing teeth (not crowns) via a metal or porcelain wing.

In recent years, traditional metal-fused-to-porcelain crowns and bridges have been replaced by metal-free materials including pressed porcelains and Zirconium cores with layered porcelain for superior aesthetics combined with strength and resistance to fracture.

History of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are not a new phenomenon though as they were used over 2,500 years ago by the Etruscans (powerful ancient Italy based civilisation).

However back then, dental bridges were a sign of status and not used to replace missing teeth. Instead, wealthy women opted to remove their teeth by choice and replaced with gold fixtures held secure by dental bridges. It was only in the twentieth century that dentists started to use dental bridges to replace missing teeth as part of cosmetic or restorative dental treatment.

The Dental Bridge Procedure

Dental bridge treatment requires at least two visits to your Dentist’s office. Here is a brief rundown of the process involved:

  • Reshaping of supporting teeth: The first visit to the dentist’s chair requires a local anaesthetic to the area around the tooth or teeth that will be used to support the bridge. The teeth are reshaped to fit the crown which is placed on top. This process is a highly skilled activity and may take up to an hour per tooth to prepare. The crowns must be perfectly secured to be able to keep the bridge in place.
  • Taking an impression: Once your surrounding teeth are reshaped, your dentist will take an impression of the missing teeth and the adjacent teeth using a rubber putty material. This mould is sent to the dental laboratory who proceeds to make a custom bridge that fits your mouth precisely. As this takes a couple of weeks to make your customised bridge, your dentist will fit a temporary bridge in place which is bonded securely. You must be careful not to eat any extra hard or chewy foods while wearing the temporary bridge.
  • Permanent bridge fitting: Your second visit to the dentist’s chair two to three weeks later will involve removing of the temporary bridge and fitting of the custom permanent bridge. Before fitting the permanent bridge, your dentist will again clean the adjacent teeth thoroughly. While this procedure can be performed without local anaesthetic, most dentists will still recommend it, so you do not feel any sensitivity or unnecessary discomfort. Your dentist will also perform some checks to ensure that your bite is the same as pre-treatment.
  • Aftercare advice: During the second visit, the dentist will also advise of the best way to clean the bridge properly as this has a direct correlation on how long the bridge will last. One of the most common reasons a bridge fails is due to a cavity occurring under the supporting crowns, but this is greatly reduced by good oral hygiene. A dental bridge can last more than ten years if looked after properly which included brushing twice daily, flossing and regular dental check ups.

Case Study: Before Dental Bridge Treatment At Savina Dental Clinic Malta

dental bridge malta treatment

After Dental Bridge Treatment At Savina Dental Clinic Malta

after dental bridge treatment at Savina Dental Clinic Malta and Gozo


What is a Dental Implant

Before dental implants, your only option to replace a missing tooth or teeth were dentures or bridges.

A dental implant is a structure made from a synthetic yet bio-compatible material (titanium or ceramic) that is placed in the jaw where the root of the missing tooth once resided. Implants are extremely well designed and look and feel like natural teeth.

The implant is secured firmly to the jaw and is the foundation for which the artificial tooth or permanent bridge is placed. No preparation of adjacent teeth are required to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Implants can also be used to fix dentures if required.

Unfortunately, not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. For an implant to be a success, the patient must have well-established bone density and a healthy immune system. People with diabetes may present some risks for this treatment and the same applies to people with a high propensity to clench their teeth. However, it is the surgeon who decides which patients might not be suitable.

As with all tooth replacement treatments, strict levels of oral hygiene are required to ensure long lasting benefits. According to American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the average success rate for dental implants is 95%.

However, this statistic is influenced greatly by the location of your missing teeth and your health and lifestyle in general. Your dentist will let you know how complicated the procedure is when performing their thorough examination but in general if you are considered a good candidate for dental implants, the success rate is very high.

Implant Brands

At Savina Dental we offer world renowned implant brands which are at the forefront of dental implant technology.

Zimmer® Implants  – USA

Straumann® Implants  – Switzerland

Dentaurum – Germany

BTK – Italy

Cortex – Israel

You can read more about your dental implant options at Savina Dental Clinics or book a dental implant consultation here. You can also view our indicative pricing guide here.

How Long Can A Dental Implant Last?

Once a dental implant is properly maintained (which includes regular dental check ups) there is no reason to believe that it will not last a lifetime. This is a huge benefit when compared to a dental bridge which will need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years, even with good oral hygiene taken into account.

Dental Implants Case Study Images

Dental Implant – Three Tooth Bridge Stage 1 Dental Implants 3 Tooth Bridge Stage 1

Stage 2 

SavinaDental.comDental Implants 3 Tooth Bridge Stage 2

Stage 3 Dental Implants 3 Tooth Bridge Stage 3

Dental Implants – Bilateral Bridges

Dental Implants Bilateral Bridges 1

Bilateral Bridges Stage 2

Dental Implants Bilateral Bridges 2


Partial Upper Bridge On Dental Implants – Stage 1

Partial Upper Bridge on Implants Before At Savina Dental Clinics Malta

Partial Upper Bridge On Dental Implants  – Stage 2

Partial Upper Bridge On Implants 2 - Savina Dental Clinics Malta and Gozo

Stage 3 – Upper Bridge On Dental Implants Completed

After Picture partial upper bridge on dental implants at Savina Dental Clinics Malta and Gozo

What if you are a good candidate for both bridges and implants?

If your dentist informs you that you are in fact a suitable candidate for both dental bridges or implants, how do you choose which is the best treatment?

Below we list the benefits and drawbacks of both to help you decide.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

  • Visually appealing, functional, predictable
  • Cost less
  • Treatment time is less to see the result

Drawbacks of Dental Bridges

  • Enamel removal required of surrounding teeth
  • If surround teeth already have crowns, they must be redone
  • Tooth decay of adjacent teeth is potential big problem
  • Additional Root canal treatment may be required if nerves of adjacent teeth are affected
  • Must be replaced after 10 to 15 years

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Visually appealing, functional, predictable, dependable
  • Does not affect surrounding teeth
  • Will not decay
  • Fewer chances to develop gum disease
  • Can last a lifetime (with good oral hygiene)

Drawbacks of Dental Implants

  • More expensive initially than bridges
  • More planning time needed
  • Minor surgery required
  • Requires healing time before permanent tooth replacement

Dental Bridges Vs Implants: Cost Implications

Dental bridges are initially cheaper than dental implants, but due to the necessity of having your bridge replaced at a point in the future, dental implants, in fact, turn out to be more cost effective.

Book Your Dental Bridge Or Implant Consultation Appointment Today

Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

If you would like to book a dental bridge or implant consultation at Savina Dental, please book your appointment using this form.

You can also read more about all the restorative dentistry treatments at Savina Dental Clinic or check out our customer testimonials section.

Dr Joseph Xuereb
Dental & Implant Surgeon. Principal
Savina Dental Clinics

Joseph Xuereb
Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.
  • "I just wanted to thank you for the dental treatment I received at your clinic on the afternoon of…" (Graham Consterdine)
    "Absolutely delighted with the results and the price was less than originally quoted.Friendly and…" (George Chapman)
    "Prior to the commencement 3 years ago I had visited dentists less than 10 times in the previous 60…" (Kenneth Page)
    "Was carried out over a number of visits from UK as clinical need arose. Absolutely no pain. Mr…" (Jennifer Page)
    "Save and sound back in the UK after my treatment at your clinic. Just a brief note of thanks…" (Joan Gabbitus)
    "Teeth feel as my own. Evening meals a delight. Grazzi hafna. Dave Dyke." (David Dyke)
    "Dear Joseph, I am still smiling and my family are very impressed. Things are progressing much as…" (Margaret Peacock)
    "Dear Dr Joseph, Just wanted to thank you for my lovely new teeth. Wonderful to be able to eat…" (Hugh Burns)
    ""i would like to say how scared i was of dentists until savina clinic my teeth were in very bad…" (Val Dick)
    ""Dr Xuereb, or Joseph as he likes to be called offered me excellent treatment and customer service…" (J Pulling)
    ""My partner and I had very succesful dental treatments in May 2009, having found Savina Clinic on…" (Michael Cleere)
    "I was extremely happy and satisfied with my treatment. The staff were extremely friendly, the…" (Francesca Smyth)
    "I am very happy with my experience in Malta. The staff is very friendly and would recommend the…" (Jim O'Mahony)
    "I have been using dentists for over 50 years, and Dr. Xuereb is one of the best that I have ever…" (Thomas P Leckinger)
    "I am very pleased with the Zoom Bleaching. My teeth went from between shade 6/7 to shade 2 in less…" (Andrea Fichera)
    "I am very pleased with Savina clinic and the prices they gave me on email are respected. The staff…" (Caroline Demay)
    "Hi Marlene, Everything is fine with me, I am very happy with the treatment I received and…" (Eileen Lee)
    "Hi Marlene, Hope you are all keeping well. My 2 ceramic veneers are great and I am very happy…" (Tara Cronogue)
    "First of all I please allow me to thank you and all your staff for giving me the courage and…" (Patrick Fenech)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb, We arrived home yesterday from Zurich and all is well here. Spring is in vibrant…" (Elaine Fothergill)
    "Dear Dr. Xuereb Thank you so much for your reply of 22 August. Again, many thanks for your several…" (Clotilde Mifsud)
    "Dr. Xuereb I continue to walk around grinning like a Cheshire cat - thank you very…" (Gerry Slater)
    "Hi Marlene, well back to rainy Ireland, I've had no problems with my crowns and fillings and…" (Nicola Moore)
    "We just thought we would send you a quick e-mail to say thank you very much for all the hard work…" (Caroline Wall)
    "Hi Joseph, Thank you so much for everything, can you please thank everyone at your practice…" (Emma Pisano)
    "Dear Joseph Many thanks for your note and your good wishes. The gum/tooth has improved…" (Carol Mellor)
    "Hello, Thanks for the below email. I would like to take this opportunity to say how pleased I…" (Alan Pratt)
    "Dear Joseph Having safely return to Ulster I wanted to express my thanks for the care and…" (Steven McBride)
    "Hi Jo Thanks for your e-mail around christmas time. We all had a great time all the families…" (Manya Bartick)
    "Hi dear Joe, I do hope you and Elsie had a really good trip to UK and Rome and that, in spite of…" (Liz Genton Eames)
    "Hi Dr., Back in Ireland and in work. Thank you for the work you have done for me so far. I…" (Teresa Igoe)
    "Thank you for you e-mail, we have just returned from Cyprus, had a fine time. The bridge and teeth…" (Alan McHale)
    "Dear Joseph, I am extremely well, and as before I am very,very happy with the work that you,…" (Donny Nisbet)
    "Hi Dr. Xuereb, Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. You always explained…" (Eleanor O'Byrne)
    "Dear Joe, Thank you for seeing David so promptly, and providing such wonderful treatment. Things…" (David Grainger)
    "Hello Joe Do you remember Caroline who came for 3 implants at the beginning of September this…" (Caroline Holden)
    "I had an emergency broken tooth and found Savina on I was somewhat nervous as I…" (Ken Gord)
    " Carol Mellor Facebook Xlendi Bay, Gozo - Appointment with my dentist…" (Carol Mellor)
    "Thank you once again Dr Xuereb for great fit of my teeth and it is wonderful to see a surgeon with…" (Maria Bonello)
    "Dear Marlene, I really appreciate your concern, thank you. I also found your missed calls - you…" (Josette Galea)
    "Dear Marlene I hope you are well. Thanks for your email and the x-ray attachments. I had a…" (Annette Moore)
    "Hi Dear Marlene and all, May I take this opportunity to give you my heartfelt thanks to all of…" (Tony Cassar)
    "very happy........with my new teeth!  Thanks Joseph and crew. Julie" (Julie Edwards)
    "Dear Joseph, It will come as little surprise to you that I am blown away by the completion of…" (Peter Drummond)
    "Hi Marlene, Had final adjustments to the bite today, only tried a xxxx peppermint.  Eating this…" (David Dyke)
    "Hi. I just wanted to thank you again for the treatment. I was particularly impressed that you…" (Chris Moffit)
    "Joseph, I just thought I'd drop you a quick email to say how pleased I am with the implants and…" (Peter Drummond)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb, I hope you are well. I just wanted to let you know that the implant itself…" (R. Fava)
    "Dear Dr Joseph, sorry for the delay in writing to thank you and everyone concerned re my recent…" (P.Jones)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb I would like to say thank you for your perseverance, patience and…" (E. Brown)
    "Thank you your practice is the best I've ever been to and the staff are brilliant as I'm so scared…" (S.Humphrey)
    "Good morning Joe and team.  Can't tell you how pleased I am with my new look which, I may add,…" (Jenni C.)
    "Dear Dr's Xuereb & Farrugia Having completed my implants in March/ July 2014, which have…" (Richings Mr/Mrs)
    "Dr. X and Marlene - We hope that you are well and wish everyone in the offices a Happy New…" (Michael Campbell)
    "To Dr Xuereb and Staff., Thank u Kindly for the Positive Support U gave me During My Treatment…" (Maria B)
    "Hello, I would like to thank you all for the perfect care I have received at your clinic and…" (Andrea K H)
    "Dear Dr Xuereb  Everything is absolutely fine and I am truly delighted with the result. Thank…" (Pamela C)
    "Hello Doctor Xuereb. Now we are back at home and we like to take the opportunity to say thank…" (A Kaun)
    "To: Dr. Joseph Xuereb  Good morning from Mellieha!  I have been meaning to write to you to…" (J.Saliba)
    "Hello Marlene, I should like to say how delighted I am with Dr Joseph Xuereb's treatment. It has…" (A.Mann)
    " My new implants are great!  No complaints.  My teeth feel natural and my eating time has…" (T.Murphy)
    "Hi Marlene, Firstly I really enjoyed Malta, especially the boat trip to Gozo.  The Maltese are…" (David E.)
    "Joseph, sincere and very many thanks for all your work today. Very professional reassuring and top…" (John S-S)
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    "Good afternoon Dr.J.Xuereb  A VERY BIG THANK YOU for a wonderful competent treatment and for a…" (Terese S.)
    "Dear Joseph. Sincere thanks for your kind e mail. Hope you had a great break away ! It was my…" (John S.S.)
    ""Dear Joseph, Wonderful,  tried out on fresh roasted chicken...  Very pleased, as always…" (Dave D)