WHAT’S BETTER: A DENTAL IMPLANT OR A BRIDGE?
Keywords: denture, missing teeth, best option for missing teeth, loose dentures, best replacement for missing tooth, dental implant, implant crown, implant bridge, implant denture, implant tooth
Losing teeth can have a significant impact on the appearance of your smile while creating functionality issues. It also can put a serious dent in your self-confidence. Two of the most common solutions that dental professionals use to address these problems are dental implants and dental bridges.
While both approaches fundamentally address the same challenges, they present, at a technical level, very different options for you to consider. If you are looking for the right solution for missing teeth, it’s important to understand the treatment options that are available to you. It is also crucial to gain an understanding of what each treatment entails before deciding if it’s right for your specific needs. Here’s what you need to know about implants and bridges and finding what’s best for you.
WHAT IS A DENTAL BRIDGE: FINDING WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU
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A dental bridge, as the name implies, literally “bridges” the space between teeth that results from a missing tooth. Therefore, the restoration needs anchoring to one or more neighboring teeth, which your dentist will have to file down so they can function as support.
Bridges don’t replace your tooth root like implants. Instead, they use one or more of your surrounding teeth as a buttress for attaching a crown that fills the space of the missing tooth.
In some instances, there may not be teeth on both sides of a gap. One approach to this problem is to install what’s called a cantilevered bridge. This type of bridge is attached to a single tooth on one side, and the bridge structure hangs over the gap.
HOW DENTAL BRIDGES WORK?
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During your first visit to get a bridge, your dentist prepares the neighboring teeth, on either side of the space. The preparation for this involves the dentist removing layers of enamel, recontouring these teeth to allow room for the crown which the dentist places over them.
Your dentist then takes impressions or scans of the teeth to use as a model from which a dental technician will make the crowns, pontic, and bridge in the lab. To protect your exposed gums and teeth while your bridge is under construction, the dentist will make you a temporary bridge.
During your second visit, your dentist removes the temporary bridge and will check and adjust the new metal or porcelain fixed bridge if necessary to ensure a proper fit. You may require multiple visits, so the dentist can check how the metal framework and bite fit. If you have some sensitivity on the trimmed teeth (which is quite common), the dentist might cement the bridge temporarily in place for a couple of weeks to ensure the discomfort is gone. They will then permanently cement the bridge after a couple of weeks.
DENTAL BRIDGE PROS AND CONS
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The main advantage of bridges is that they are considered to be one of the most cost-effective methods for replacing missing teeth. Another advantage of bridges is they don’t require bone grafting if bone loss is present. Bridges also offer a quicker process for replacing missing teeth.
One of the biggest disadvantages of bridges is that they place greater strain on surrounding structures, especially the two teeth which are attached to the device. For this reason, a bridge rarely is expected to last a lifetime. Bridges also do not address concerns about underlying structural problems. This means that long-term issues arising from bone loss due to the removal of teeth will continue to advance even after the gap is addressed.
Most significantly is the effect of a bridge on the support teeth on either side of the space. The act of having to shave the teeth down is the most serious and harmful aspect of doing a bridge. These teeth often need root canal treatment shortly after the bridge has been placed.
Cantilevered bridges are especially notorious for creating problems. They place a significant amount of stress on the single tooth to which they’re attached. Maryland bridges also often come with problems, due to their minimal amount of attachment and limited capacity to absorb force. Also, if a Maryland bridge is not properly maintained, it may lead to the loss of additional teeth.
COST OF DENTAL BRIDGES
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Numerous factors can affect the price, including:
- How many teeth are missing?
- Which materials the bridge will be made of, such as zirconia, gold, or ceramic-covered metal alloy?
- Additional treatments required for other dental problems like gum disease
- Difficulty/complexity of the placement
- Additional requirement of root canal therapy
- The type of bridge you choose
We support the right of each patient to select their solution based on the comfort, aesthetics, and price of the restoration. You will find the cost varies between implant crowns, bridges, and dentures as well. You should also weigh how long each type of treatment will last. Implants display impressive longevity, balancing out the higher cost.
In our next article, we will describe what dental implants are, and what advantages they bring as a solution for dental loss. See you at the next article!
Marchwood Dental Clinic specializes in dental implants crown and aesthetic treatments, focusing on the oral and dental health of patients in Kanata, Dunrobin, Carleton Place, Almonte, Carp and all of West Ottawa. We offer many treatment options and alternatives with cutting-edge technology to guarantee the quality of our service.
Contact us and schedule your appointment at Marchwood Dental Clinic serving Kanata, Dunrobin, Carleton Place, Almonte, Carp and all of West Ottawa today. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information.
Receive the gift of a WaterPik flosser or an Opalescence whitening kit when you start your treatment within a month of your assessment.