Dental Bridges An Overview
If you have recently lost a tooth, you may want to start considering your options to have it replaced. Replacing a missing tooth does more than just improve the cosmetic appeal of the smile; it also helps to improve the overall health of the mouth. A missing tooth can affect your bite, cause the neighboring teeth to drift into the open space left by a missing tooth, and you may suffer from bone loss over time. Our Annapolis, MD dentist office offers you a few options to replace your missing tooth. If you are only missing a single tooth, we offer a dental bridge and a dental implant to replace it.
Dental Implant vs A Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is the traditional method used to replace a missing tooth. It is a restoration that works by “bridging” the gap between teeth. The bridgework is a series of prosthetic teeth linked together and supported by anchor teeth on either side of the gap. The anchors that are used for support on each side of the gap are you natural teeth, each strengthened by a dental crown. The advantage to choosing a dental bridge is you will have your final restoration completed faster, usually about two weeks. It is also significantly cheaper than a dental implant. A disadvantage is the stress it places on the natural teeth. If adjacent teeth are in good health, the stress could lead to premature wear or cavity formation. They also require special care and maintenance.
A dental implant is the most natural and durable option to replace a missing tooth. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into the jaw bone and serves as the artificial root for a dental crown. Because it is surgically placed, it is the most durable option for replacing a tooth. You will have no diet restrictions! This also means you have a less chance of suffering from bone loss. Implants require the same care as your natural teeth so no extra steps need to be taken in your daily oral health routine. Even though this is the better option for replacing a tooth, there are a few drawbacks. The initial cost of dental implants is significantly higher than a dental bridge. Also, the total time it takes to get the final restoration may take anywhere from 3 to 9 months. A dental implant supported by a dental crown to replace a single tooth will present the least number of problems in the future.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridge
An implant-supported dental bridge can be used to replace two or more consecutive missing teeth. It works by surgically placing two implants that will serve as the anchors. These have a higher success rate compared to traditional bridgework and they eliminate the need to degrade adjacent teeth. Additionally, dental implants promote continued bone growth, preventing both bone shrinkage and gum recession associated with traditional bridges and dentures. An implant-supported bridge will look just like your natural teeth.