If you need to replace one or more teeth, there are three potential solutions: dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants. There are advantages and disadvantages of each, but today, we’re going to take a closer look at one option in particular: dental bridges.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are a restorative solution that bridges the gap in your smile using one or more pontics (replacement teeth) that are anchored by abutments (supports). There are a few different types of bridges to choose from:
- Traditional bridges consist of two abutments attached to adjacent teeth with one or more pontics joining them together. The abutments in a traditional bridge are dental crowns.
- Maryland bridges use a metal or porcelain framework to secure pontics to the abutment teeth. This is a more affordable solution that protects the structures of adjacent teeth, but it is not as strong as a traditional bridge.
- Cantilever bridges are used when a third molar is missing or if there is another reason why only one adjacent tooth can be used as an abutment. These bridges are only used when other solutions are not an option, as they place stress on the supporting tooth.
- Implant-supported bridges are much like traditional bridges, except instead of being supported by crowns, they are supported by dental implants.
The Pros of Dental Bridges
There are many reasons why some patients choose dental bridges over other options for replacing missing teeth:
- Dental bridges are less expensive than dental implants.
- The cost of bridges is usually covered by dental insurance, while dental implants may not be.
- Dental bridges require fewer trips to the dentist and the process of getting them is less invasive, as no surgery is required.
- If you have suffered bone loss in the jaw, traditional dental implants may not be an option without bone grafting. In these cases, patients may prefer getting a dental bridge instead.
- Getting dental implants is a surgical procedure, with all the same risks of surgery, including infection and injury to surrounding tissues. Bridges don't have these risks.
The Cons of Dental Bridges
Now that we’ve gone over why patients choose bridges, here are some reasons they decide to pursue other treatment options:
- Dental bridges have a shorter lifespan than dental implants. If you're deciding between implants and a bridge, be aware that dental implants will usually last longer.
- Bone loss will continue with a dental bridge, which could eventually lead to facial collapse and a weakened bite. Unlike bridges, dental implants replace the root of the tooth, which prevents and even reverses bone loss.
- Unless it’s an implant-supported bridge, dental bridges are not as stable as implants and they may require more regular maintenance.
- Because crowns are used to anchor traditional bridges in place, they may compromise the structures of surrounding teeth.
Learn More About Dental Bridges
The best way to know if a dental bridge is right for you is to schedule a visit to discuss your needs with your dentist. Make an appointment at our Pomona office by calling 845-364-9400 or our Brooklyn office by calling 718-376-1666.