A prosthetic tooth or teeth that are anchored to adjacent teeth, or adjacent crowns to replace gaps is called a dental bridge. Dental bridges are a restorative dentistry technique that can not only improve the appearance of your smile but help to keep your existing teeth in the proper position. If you have one or more missing teeth, a bridge may be one of several replacement options available to you.
A dental bridge will be made of ceramic (porcelain), ceramic fused to metal, or a metal alloy. When you opt for a bridge made of porcelain, the porcelain will be matched to the current color of your teeth, so that it is not noticeable. Dental bridges offer many people a wonderful, fast, and affordable way to replace missing teeth.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges offer unique benefits among tooth replacement options. First, they do not require drilling into the jaw bone to secure an implant. This makes more people good candidates for this treatment. Even those who have lost some jaw bone may be eligible candidates for a bridge
Bridges are also less invasive than dental implants because they don’t require surgery. They can also be completed much quicker than implants. If you have healthy, supportive teeth on either side of a gap in your smile, a bridge can be fitted to close that gap in as few as two appointments.
You will also require fewer dental appointments if you opt for a bridge, instead of implants. Finally, a dental bridge will likely save you a great deal of money when compared to dental implants. Plus, if you have dental insurance, bridges are more likely to be covered than implants.
However, dental bridges do have some drawbacks. Because the bridges sit on top of your gums, they will not help to preserve your jaw bone. By contrast, when you opt for dental implants, the titanium screw that is implanted in your jawbone does promote bone growth through a process called osseointegration.
Dental bridges can also require that the teeth adjacent to the gap be filed down and fitted with a crown to support the bridge. To some people, this can seem like unnecessary treatment on a healthy tooth. You may experience more tooth decay and or gum disease with a bridge compared to an implant. Finally, it is important to note that your dental bridge will likely need to be replaced every 5-10 years. By contrast, although crowns may need to be replaced, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Are Implants or a Dental Bridge Better?
Unfortunately, there is no way to know which option will be better for you without consulting with a leading expert in the field. Your dentist or prosthodontist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth and gums. X-rays and other scans will also be taken, to confirm bone strength, or conversely, bone loss.
Other factors that will be considered when recommending the best tooth replacement treatment will include:
- The number of teeth you need to replace
- The health of your gums
- The health and strength of adjacent teeth
- The need for any additional treatment before replacing the missing teeth
Dental Bridges in Stuart Florida
At Stuart Prosthetic Dentistry, Dr. Olin Tyler is both a Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.) and is also a Certified Prosthodontist. He personally creates many of the prosthetic teeth he places. Dr. Tyler has years of experience in creating prosthetic teeth using the most innovative digital advancements in prosthodontics. To schedule a consultation call 772.286.1606 or request an appointment online.