There are a few different solutions your dentist may recommend to replace missing teeth. These can include dental implants, dentures, cosmetic dentistry or a bridge. A bridge consists of one or more false teeth placed in the gap to restore the appearance of your smile and help you eat more easily.
A bridge can be either anchored to your adjacent teeth (if you have healthy teeth on one or both sides of the gap), or your bridge can be supported by dental implants. We explain some of the differences between these two types of bridges to help you decide on your best course of treatment.
What is a dental bridge?
When dentists talk about a dental bridge, they generally mean a bridge that is supported by your natural teeth. A tooth-supported bridge uses the teeth on either side of the gap to support the fake tooth or teeth in between. If you only have a healthy tooth on one side of the gap, your dentist may recommend a cantilever bridge anchored by a single tooth.
Tooth-supported bridges can be a cost-effective solution to the problem of missing teeth, but they do come with several disadvantages.
- Dental bridges can only be used with enough healthy teeth to support them.
- The teeth used as support will need to be reduced so that a special crown (called an abutment) can be cemented over the top to support the bridge. This causes permanent damage to healthy teeth, and if you later decide to change your bridge to a different type, they will still always need a crown on these teeth.
- In some cases, cantilever bridges can act as a lever, potentially damaging the anchoring tooth.
What is an implant bridge?
An implant-supported bridge works on the same principle as a tooth-supported bridge, except the bridge is supported by dental implants instead of natural teeth. This is an excellent solution for patients with insufficient natural teeth to support a dental bridge or who are keen to preserve their existing healthy teeth without damaging them.
Implant bridges look, feel and function like natural teeth and are an excellent long-term course of treatment. Through a procedure known as Same Day Teeth, you can have your implants placed, and the bridge affixed simultaneously, so you can walk out with your new teeth on the same day.
While they might require more of an initial investment upfront, implant bridges are usually the recommended solution. They look and feel more natural, are anchored securely to your jaw, and they don’t cause any damage to your existing healthy teeth.
If you’d like to find out more about the costs of implant bridges, dentistry to enhance your smile, cosmetic dentistry options or simply discuss the options available for your missing teeth, please contact us today.