Dental Bridges: What are they?
A dental bridge is a fixed dental appliance that bridges the gap left by missing teeth. Dental bridges are able to replace one or more missing teeth, either individually or in a row. Bridges are normally made of 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 in between.
What are the different types of tooth replacement options?
Every dental treatment has its own set of advantages or disadvantages and the same goes for dental bridges and other tooth replacement options. Based on a variety of factors, including your needs, budget, and lifestyle, your dentist will recommend the most appropriate tooth replacement option for you.
Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants
If you are looking for a long-term solution to your missing teeth then either dental bridges or dental implants might be right for you. One important difference between the two is that dental bridges typically need to be replaced after 5 to 15 years, while dental implants can last quite a bit longer than that.
That said, the dental bridge procedure is significantly less invasive than the dental implant procedure (which is a surgery), and it requires a shorter recovery time as well. In most cases, dental implants are more expensive than bridges and are less likely to be covered by insurance.
Dental Bridges vs. Dentures
While both are good tooth replacement options, the main difference between dentures and dental bridges is that bridges are fixed in place, while you can remove dentures as needed.
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 commonly covered by dental insurance.
Why is it important to replace missing teeth?
If you are missing any teeth then you will face a number of difficulties and potential complications. You may find that you struggle to chew or talk and this can continue to get worse. 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 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.