Do You Need a Dental Bridge? Uses and Alternatives
Statistics show that 69% of American adults have experienced at least one missing tooth by the age of 44. Whether this comes from a failed root canal, an accident, gum disease, or tooth decay, a solution is needed to improve chewing and self-esteem. When it comes to replacing lost teeth, dental bridges are a common solution.
Dental bridges provide an artificial tooth replacement in places where tooth loss has occurred by anchoring it to the adjacent teeth. The anchoring teeth on either side are referred to as abutment teeth, and the false tooth, sit in between them. This provides a stable support structure to secure the new, false tooth, which is called a pontic.
Dental bridges can be made of many different materials, from metals like gold or special alloys, ceramics such as zirconia and porcelain, or a combination of these materials. The type of material can be based on cost, the location of the bridge, and the specific needs in your situation.
While an implant is generally considered the best option for replacing a tooth, a dental bridge may be a good second option, and some types may be preferred over an implant for younger mouths that are still growing and shifting.
Bridge vs. Implant
If only one tooth is missing, an implant will cost roughly the same as a traditional bridge. Some factors to consider:
- Bridges don’t require surgery, while dental implants do. The procedure is faster and easier, requiring fewer visits.
- On the other hand, high-quality implants can be a lifelong investment. Bridges typically need to be replaced every 10-15 years.
- Implants prevent degradation of the jawbone leading to bone loss and possible gum problems from a missing tooth.
- However, if there are already problems with the jawbone, implants aren’t an option—they need healthy, strong bone to work.
Bridge vs. Crown
A bridge versus a crown is a more specific situation. Crowns are less costly than a bridge, but these are typically used to treat different types of problems. If the existing teeth are able to be saved, like in the case of a chipped tooth, a crown may be available. This will go on top of your natural tooth, somewhat like a protective shield.
Bridges vs. Partial Dentures
- A partial denture is a removable model of teeth built of plastic and metal that’s built to fit in the gap where a tooth is missing.
- Partial dentures always have the potential to damage the adjacent teeth.
- They can also pose a risk to your oral health, as food and bacteria can become packed into the gap where a tooth should be.
Are You Considering a Dental Bridge?
In summary, bridges are a cost-effective option for cases of tooth loss where the adjacent teeth are strong and healthy. Dental bridges can prevent shifting of the teeth, degradation of the jawbone, and changes to the shape of the face that can occur with missing teeth. While root canals with a crown or implants are generally preferable choices, a dental bridge may be called for in certain cases.
Contact Impact Dental Care for All of Your Dental Needs
At Impact Dental Care, we provide a full range of dental services and take care of most of your dental needs in-house, including dental bridges and dental implants. We have sedation certified dentist, so sleep dentistry is always an option. We are dedicated to provide excellent service, quality care, and patient convenience. Click here to learn more and to set up an appointment.