Designed to replace one tooth or multiple missing teeth in a row, dental bridges can restore a smile while providing a durable, natural-looking result. Patients have lots of choices these days when it comes to restorative dental work, though, so how do you choose the right one for you? Dr. Coleman and Dr. John, our experienced dentists, believe that each patient’s needs are unique, and the right approach will depend on a number of factors. With that in mind, we discuss some of the general benefits and drawbacks of dental bridges to help you make a decision you’re confident about.
Dental bridges come in many materials, including all-ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal (also known as PFM), and gold. This gives you a broad array of choices to best suit your needs, preferences, and budget. Bridges are customized to fit snugly, and they are designed to match the color of your natural teeth. Furthermore, maintenance is generally the same as with your natural teeth. There can be a few downsides, however, which should be taken into consideration. During the bridge placement procedure, the teeth that sit on either side of the missing teeth will need to prepared and shaved down. They will then be used as supports to hold the bridge. If these teeth already have damage or decay, this could be an ideal technique. Depending on your situation, there may be a small risk of bone loss over time in the area where your teeth are missing if you use a bridge rather than a dental implant. Our dentists will discuss this with you if they determine you may be subject to this concern.
Dental implants are another popular option. Implants also offer strength, durability, and natural-looking results. Furthermore, they can reduce or eliminate the risk of bone shrinkage, and they are highly resistant to cavities. On the other hand, dental implants generally take longer to complete from start to finish. You don’t have to choose one or the other – there’s a third alternative. An implant-supported bridge may be an excellent choice in the event you want something that offers the best of both worlds.
Still not sure? We can help. Talk to us about your concerns and we will develop a customized treatment plan just for you.