What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges quite literally “bridge” the gap between one or more missing teeth. Because dental bridges are false teeth, two or more crowns on each side of the gap are needed to help secure the bridge.
There are three main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges – This is the most common type of dental bridge, created by applying a crown to the tooth on either side of the gap with a false tooth (or teeth) in between.
- Cantilever bridges – This type of bridge is used when there are adjacent teeth only on one side of the missing tooth or teeth.
- Maryland bonded bridges – This type of bridge is usually made of porcelain. The existing teeth on either side of the gap are bonded to the metal or porcelain wings on the bridge.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are metal posts or frames that serve as the foundation for replacement teeth. Implants guarantee that the replacement teeth don’t move out of position. They are surgically added to the jawbone so that it is anchored into position to support the crown.
What To Consider When Deciding Between Dental Implants And Dental Bridges
A bridge involves more than just a missing tooth. The adjacent teeth need to be prepared by removing most of the enamel to fabricate the bridge. If the surrounding teeth have large fillings or need crowns or caps in the future, bridges are a good option. With implants, however, only the affected tooth is removed. Surgery is required with dental implants because they need to be attached to your bone.
No special oral hygiene routine is required with dental implants. You can take care of your teeth as normal. Dental bridges need a little bit more care than implants. In particular, when you floss you have to thread the floss under the false tooth.
Both dental bridges and dental implants have the potential to look natural. More often than not, though, dental implants look and feel the most natural. They look, feel, and function like a real tooth would. Overall, the appearance of either depends on the options given to you by your dentist.
Bridges will generally last about fifteen years, but can last longer if they are well taken care of. They will need to be replaced periodically due to normal wear while implants have a longer lifespan and can last a lifetime if they are well-maintained. Implants are made of titanium and are strong and resistant to decay and gum problems, while the remaining tooth structure in bridges is still susceptible.
Bridges are usually more affordable than implants, but will need to be replaced in the future, whereas implants are less likely to need replacements if they are well taken care of. Implants are the more expensive option of the two, but can be worth the investment over-time. However, insurance rarely covers all of the cost of implants. Fortunately, Tower Dental Associates can work with patients and their financial flexibility to make sure our clients get the care they need!
Both dental bridges and implants restore smiles and leave our patients feeling happier, healthier, and more confident. The best way to decide which option will work better for you is by speaking to a dentist. If you have missing teeth or would like more information on dental implants and bridges, contact our dentist office in Gainesville, FL to make an appointment! Our doctors will be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options.