If you have one or more missing teeth, replacing them as soon as possible should be your priority. Two good options for replacing missing teeth are dental bridges and dental implants. And although dental implants are the closest thing you can get to a natural tooth, they aren't always the best option. What you choose depends upon you and your situation.

Here are four reasons why you might choose a dental bridge over dental implants.

1. Dental bridges take less time to complete

Dental implants can take as long as six months from start to finish. And if you need a bone graft, it could be 12 months before you get to use your dental implant like a natural tooth. For some people, that is simply too long a wait.

Your dentist can create and place a dental bridge in your mouth within two to three appointments. If you want to replace your teeth within a few weeks rather than a few months, a dental bridge is better than dental implants.

2. Dental bridges don't require invasive surgery

One of the reasons why dental implants take so long is that invasive surgery is necessary to place them into your jawbone. Your jawbone then needs months to heal. If this is something that makes you nervous, then you might not want to undergo surgery to place dental implants.

Fortunately, dental bridges that don't employ dental implants usually rely on natural teeth as anchor points. As such, your dentist will only work on the anchor tooth to make room for a crown. They won't need to cut into your gum or bone tissue.

3. Dental bridges are cheaper than dental implants

If cost is an issue for you, then a dental bridge is a good option. Dental bridges are much cheaper than dental implants.

4. Dental bridges can work with gum disease

If you have gum disease or periodontitis, which is incurable, then dental implants might not be a good idea. Dental implants need healthy gum and bone tissue to remain stable and sturdy. If you have gum disease and you place a dental implant in your mouth, that implant could fail later if your gum disease comes back with a vengeance.

Because dental bridges only work with your natural teeth while replacing lost teeth, they're less affected by gum disease than dental implants.

Dental bridges may not provide the same look and stability as dental implants, but that doesn't mean that dental implants are always better. In some situations, dental bridges can be a better option.

For more information about dental bridges, talk to a dentist.