What is a dental bridge?
This fixed dental appliance bridges the gap that missing teeth leave. A dental bridge can be used to replace a single missing tooth or many missing teeth in a row. Bridges are typically made from two dental crowns (one on each of the teeth on either side of the gap) and the false tooth (or teeth) that bridge the space between.
How do I know which type of tooth replacement to choose?
Every dental restoration and tooth replacement will have different pros and cons. Your needs, lifestyle, budget and a variety of other factors will help you and your dentist decide which tooth replacement option is most appropriate for you.
Dental Bridges or Dental Implants?
Dental bridges and dental implants are each long-term solutions for missing teeth. One important distinction between the two is that dental bridges will usually need to be replaced after 5 to 15 years, while dental implants can last quite a bit longer than that.
That said, the procedure to have a dental bridge is significantly less invasive than the dental implant procedure (which is classified as surgery) and it requires a shorter recovery time. In most cases, dental implants cost more than bridges and are less likely to be covered by insurance.
Dental Bridges or Dentures?
The main difference between dental bridges and dentures is that dentures are removable, while bridges are fixed to the surrounding teeth.
Most of the time, a dental bridge will be recommended when there are only a few missing teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.
Dental bridges tend to be a little more costly than partial dentures, but both tooth replacement options are covered by most dental insurance plans.
Why replace missing teeth?
A variety of dental health problems can arise when missing teeth are not replaced. It can make chewing and speaking difficult, and over time, the teeth around the gap can shift out of position, worsening the problem. In addition, the jaw structure around the missing teeth may start to deteriorate, causing facial collapse.
Bridges, implants and dentures are all different solutions that can all help you avoid these issues. They all fill the space left by missing teeth, prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting, and help preserve your ability to chew and speak.