Dental bridges are one of the best solutions for replacing missing teeth. But as with any dental treatment, bridges come both advantages and disadvantages. So before you decide whether or not to restore your smile with a tooth bridge, here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of dental bridges.
What Are Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are fixed dental appliances used to replace one or more missing teeth by bridging the gap between adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. These prosthetic devices consist of one or more artificial teeth (pontics) anchored to dental crowns or abutments placed on the teeth or dental implants on either side of the gap. Dental bridges are custom-made to match the colour and shape of natural teeth, providing an aesthetically pleasing and functional solution for restoring a complete smile and improving bite function.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are several types of dental bridges, each designed to address specific dental needs and circumstances. The main types of dental bridges include:
- Traditional Dental Bridges: Traditional bridges are a commonly used option to replace missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth, known as pontics, which are held in place by dental crowns on both sides. These crowns are placed on healthy adjacent teeth that have been prepared by removing a portion of their enamel. Traditional bridges are effective for restoring the function and appearance of one or more missing teeth. However, they do require the alteration of adjacent teeth, which may weaken them over time.
- Cantilever Bridges: Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges but differ in their support structure. While traditional bridges are anchored on both sides by dental crowns, cantilever bridges are supported on one side only. This makes them suitable for cases where there is only one healthy adjacent tooth available for support. However, because they are not as balanced as traditional bridges, they may exert more force on the supporting tooth.
- Maryland (Resin-Bonded) Bridges: Maryland bridges offer a conservative alternative for replacing missing teeth, particularly in the front of the mouth. They consist of a metal or porcelain framework with artificial teeth that are bonded to the back of adjacent teeth using resin. Unlike traditional bridges, Maryland bridges do not require the removal of enamel from adjacent teeth. This preserves the integrity of those teeth and makes Maryland bridges a less invasive option. However, they may not be as strong or stable as traditional bridges and are better suited for specific cases.
- Implant-Supported Bridges: Implant-supported bridges are a highly stable and durable option for replacing missing teeth. Instead of relying on adjacent teeth for support, they are anchored to dental implants surgically placed in the jawbone. This makes them an ideal choice for restoring multiple missing teeth in a row, as they offer exceptional stability and do not affect neighbouring natural teeth. While implant-supported bridges have a higher initial cost due to the surgical implant procedure, they provide long-lasting and reliable results.
The Pros of Dental Bridges
Achieve a Beautiful and Natural-Looking Smile
Dental bridges are usually porcelain, a material that can be shaped and coloured to closely resemble natural teeth. Your dentist will match the colour and shape of your new teeth to the rest of your smile — you’ll barely be able to tell the difference between your natural teeth and your new pearly whites.
Bridges don’t just replace missing teeth; they also give adjacent teeth a makeover. The teeth either side of your missing tooth/teeth will be filed down and replaced with a crown, which can restore the health and appearance of these teeth.
Tooth Bridges Are Easy to Place
When restoring your smile, you probably want to see results as soon as possible. So you’ll be pleased to hear the placement of dental bridges is a relatively fast and easy process.
Most people only need to make two trips to the dentist. During the first appointment, your dentist will take moulds of your teeth and file your adjacent teeth to make them suitable for crowns. Then on your second visit, your dentist will fit the bridge.
If you have any other dental issues, or you’re using a dental implant to anchor a bridge, you may need more trips to the dentist before your bridge is placed. Your dentist may also schedule a follow-up appointment to check on your bridge.
Dental Bridges Are a Comfortable Solution
As well as looking beautifully natural, bridges also feel just as comfortable as your real teeth. You can eat, speak and chew normally without feeling self-conscious. And you won’t have to spend long getting used to your dental bridge — it should feel comfortable as soon as the anaesthetic from the procedure wears off.
Dental Bridges Can Prevent Bone Loss
When you lose a tooth, the bone underneath is no longer stimulated by the force of biting and chewing. Without this stimulation, your jawbone can start to weaken and over time, this can lead to bone loss.
However, by replacing your missing tooth/teeth with a dental bridge, your jawbone won’t weaken or decrease in density. It will remain just as strong as if your natural teeth remain.
Prevent Your Teeth from Moving out of Alignment
Another common side effect of tooth loss is a misalignment — when your teeth start to move into the gap left by missing teeth. By using a dental bridge to fill that gap, you’ll prevent your teeth from moving out of alignment.
Bridges Are Easy to Maintain
Dental bridges aren’t removable, so you don’t have to take them out when you brush your teeth. Instead, you simply brush your teeth — and bridge — as normal. As long as you keep up a good dental care routine, and visit your dentist for check-ups and hygienist appointments regularly, your bridge should be easy to maintain.
Dental Bridges Can Last Many Years
If you keep up your dental hygiene and take good care of your bridge, it can be a long-term solution to missing teeth. Most dental bridges last between five and 15 years, but you can increase the lifespan of your new teeth by taking good care of them.
The Cons of Dental Bridges
Tooth Bridges Aren’t Permanent
While dental bridges can last over ten years, they won’t last forever. So you’ll need to replace your bridge periodically, every five to 15 years or so, to make sure your smile stays healthy. Replacing your bridge also prevents wear and tear from damaging the teeth beneath the crowns.
Healthy Teeth Will Need to Be Filed
Before a dental bridge is fitted, your dentist needs to file down the teeth either side of your missing teeth so the crowns can be placed. Once your teeth are filed, you’ll always need to have a crown bonded to them.
There Is a Slight Risk of Nerve Damage
A very rare risk associated with dental bridges is nerve damage. The procedure can damage the nerves beneath your gums, and cause you to need root canal treatment in the future. However, only a small percentage of people experience nerve damage as a result of dental bridges.
Flossing a Dental Bridge Can Be Difficult
While maintaining dental bridges is generally straightforward, flossing can be a little tricky. Dental bridges aren’t rooted in your gums like dental implants, so plaque can build between the underside of the bridge and your gums. You may need to use special techniques and products to keep the underside of the bridge clean.
Comparing Dental Bridges with Dental Implants
Besides dental bridges, dental implants can also being used for replacing missing teeth. They are two different options, each with its own advantages and considerations.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium that are surgically placed into the jawbone to support crowns, bridges, or dentures. Implants are anchored directly into the jawbone, providing stability and preventing the need to alter adjacent teeth. Implant placement is a multi-step process, including surgery and healing time before the final restoration. They offers the most natural look, feel, and function of teeth. They can preserve bone health and facial structure. And they provides long-term durability and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Choosing Between the Two
Choosing between dental bridges and dental implants is an important decision when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Both options have their own advantages and considerations, so it’s essential to weigh your priorities and consult with a dentist to make an informed choice:
Consider Dental Bridges if:
- Cost is a Concern: Dental bridges are often more cost-effective upfront compared to dental implants.
- Adjacent Teeth are Strong: Bridges rely on the support of adjacent healthy teeth, so if these teeth are strong and in good condition, a bridge may be a viable option.
- Immediate Solution Desired: Bridges can be placed more quickly than dental implants, providing a faster solution for replacing missing teeth.
- Certain Oral Health Conditions: In some cases, dental bridges may be recommended for patients with specific oral health conditions that make them better suited for this option.
Consider Dental Implants if:
- Long-Term Durability: Dental implants are known for their long-term durability and can last a lifetime with proper care.
- Preservation of Adjacent Teeth: Implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support, preserving the health and integrity of neighbouring teeth.
- Natural Look and Feel: Implants closely mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth, providing a highly aesthetic and functional solution.
- Bone Health: Implants stimulate the jawbone, helping to maintain bone density and prevent bone loss over time.
Consulting with our dentist is crucial to assess your specific needs and determine which option is the most suitable for you. We can provide personalised recommendations and guide you through the decision-making process to ensure the best outcome for your smile and overall oral health.
Why Choose Tooth Doctor for Dental Bridges?
Choosing Tooth Doctor for your dental bridge needs comes with several compelling benefits, including our commitment to providing top-tier care and a personalised experience.
- Expertise and Experience: Our dental professionals are highly skilled and experienced in dental bridge procedures. With our expertise, you can trust that your dental bridge will be crafted and placed with precision.
- Customised Solutions: We understand that every patient is unique, and your dental needs are no exception. Our approach to dental bridges is tailored to your specific requirements, ensuring a personalised treatment plan that aligns with your goals.
- Cutting-Edge Technology: Our dental practices are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, allowing for precise diagnostics, treatment planning, and bridge fabrication. We stay at the forefront of dental advancements to provide you with the best possible care.
- Three Convenient Locations: Tooth Doctor has three conveniently located offices in Basildon, Thurrock, and Stanford-le-Hope of Essex and Thurrock. This means you can access our expert dental services with ease, no matter where you are in the region.
- Comprehensive Consultations: We believe in transparent communication and thorough consultations. We take the time to discuss your concerns, explain treatment options, and answer your questions, so you can make informed decisions about your dental bridge.
- Affordable Options: We understand the importance of affordability when it comes to dental bridges. We offer competitive pricing, with bridges starting at just £750 per unit. Our flexible payment plans and 0% finance options make it easier for you to access the dental care you need while staying within your budget.
- Patient-Centric Care: Your comfort and well-being are our top priorities. We create a welcoming and supportive environment to ease any anxiety or concerns you may have, ensuring a stress-free experience.
- Post-Bridge Care: Our commitment extends beyond the bridge placement. We provide guidance on post-bridge care and regular follow-up appointments to ensure the long-term success of your dental bridge.
- Proven Results: Tooth Doctor has a history of delivering outstanding results, helping numerous patients regain their smiles and oral function with dental bridges.
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Our Location in Essex and Thurrock
Tooth Doctor proudly serves the community of Essex and Thurrock with three conveniently located dental clinics. Whether you’re in Basildon, Brentwood or Stanford-le-Hope, a top-tier dental experience is just around the corner. The Basildon clinic is situated at 7 Market Pavement SS14 1DD. The Brentwood clinic is at 27 High Street CM14 4RG. The Stanford-le-Hope clinic is at 26 Corringham Rd SS17 0AH. They are all easily accessible both by car and public transportation. With ample parking options and proximity to major transit routes, getting to us for your dental treatments is a breeze. No matter which surrounding area you’re coming from, Tooth Doctor ensures a smooth journey to a brighter smile!
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