Nixa dentist Dr. Jacob McClauchlin often recommends dental bridges as a solution for patients with missing teeth. There are many types of dental bridges; Dr. McClauchlin will assess your condition, listen to your goals and help you select the best treatment for your long term health and well being.
We can also replace old bridgework with a new cosmetic dental bridge or dental implants.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a series of prosthetic teeth that are linked together to replace missing teeth in a smile. A dental bridge can either be removable or fixed and made from a variety of tooth-like materials:
- Removable Dental Bridge – A removable dental bridge is typically reserved as a short term solution for missing teeth because it does not offer good long term benefits and frequently requires replacement or repair.
- Fixed Dental Bridge – In a fixed dental bridge, a prosthetic tooth is connected to two dental crowns which cover the teeth on either side of the gap. This treatment option requires the adjacent teeth to be reduced to accommodate the crown as a foundation for the bridgework. This may not be an issue if the neighboring teeth already have dental crowns or large dental fillings. However, if the teeth are in good health, a dental bridge could put unneeded stress on the teeth, making them likely to need dental work in the future.
Dental Bridge vs. Dental Implant
Health and bone structure – Only patients in good health, with good bone structure will be candidates for dental implants. In some cases, bone grafting procedures can be complete if additional support is needed. If you are not a candidate for dental implants, a dental bridge may be the best solution.
Cost – While the cost of a dental bridge may be more affordable in the short term than a dental implant, implants typically provide a better long term solution and are less likely to need repair or replacement in the future.
Stable restoration – Dental implants are the closest thing to a natural tooth. The dental implant is anchored to the bone, allowing the patient to eat whatever they want, brush and floss normally, and have unaffected speech.
While the dental bridge itself is extremely durable, the concern is for the health of neighboring teeth. If one of the anchor teeth fails or needs dental work, it compromises the entire dental bridge.
Procedure and recovery – Dental implant surgery is a relatively comfortable and quick procedure completed by an experienced oral surgeon. Sedation dentistry options are available.