Various materials go into the fabrication of dental bridges in general dentistry. They also have support structures that hold them in place. For example, a conventional bridge gets its support from two teeth on either side of the gap that it fills. In contrast, dentists use cantilever bridges to fill an open-ended gap. This type…
Dental Bridge Pros and Cons
If you are currently considering getting a dental bridge, you probably one or more missing teeth or irreparably damaged teeth. A dental bridge covers the gap left by a missing tooth with dental crowns and a false tooth, called a pontic. It can be helpful to review the pros and cons of bridges, especially how they match up to other tooth replacement options.
Pros and cons of dental bridges
The following are some of the major benefits and drawbacks that come with choosing dental bridges over other teeth replacement options.
Pros of dental bridges
Bridges usually do not require bone grafting. If a tooth has been missing for a while, the jawbone that once supported it may have resorbed or weakened. Bone grafting is done to augment the jawbone and improve its strength by using artificial bone materials. This procedure is only needed for implants, not bridges, consequently lowering the treatment duration.
Dental bridges are usually recommended when patients have enough healthy teeth left on the jaw. The teeth support the bridge and keep it firmly in position. The dental professional will customize the bridge to fit the patient’s smile. By the end of treatment, it will be hard to distinguish the bridge from the rest of the teeth.
Cleaning and maintaining the dental bridge is convenient without special requirements. Patients can clean the bridge like their natural teeth.
Cons of dental bridges
Although dental bridges are good options for restoring the normal functions of the mouth, they also have their disadvantages.
Conventional bridges require placing crowns over healthy teeth. The healthy teeth on the sides of the bridge will need to be prepared (filed down) and covered with a crown, resulting in the loss of healthy tooth enamel. This also means permanent alteration to the teeth, as they will continue to need crowns for protection.
Maryland bridges can damage existing teeth and are not so stable. Since this type of bridge requires affixing metal to the back of the teeth, it can cause lasting damage to the healthy teeth. These bridges are also not as sturdy against chewing pressure as other bridge options.
Bridges do not stop bone loss in the jaw. Bridges lie above the gum line and have no root, in contrast to implants with an artificial root that is inserted into the jawbone. Therefore, bone loss will continue unless the required stimulation is provided.
It is not a permanent solution. The average lifespan of a dental bridge is 10 to 15 years, with adequate care. For some people, this is enough reason not to choose the option. Due to the effect bridges have on adjacent teeth, they are not preferred as a lasting solution to tooth loss and may eventually need to be replaced.
The bottom line
If you are still trying to deliberate on choosing a dental bridge, you should visit an experienced dentist to get a professional opinion. They will examine the condition of your teeth, consider your preferences and concerns, and suggest the best option to restore your smile.
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