Restorative dentistry deals with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of oral problems. The dentist may recommend a treatment plan to restore a chipped, cracked, decayed, discolored or lost tooth. Any patient with a structurally impaired tooth qualifies for restorative treatment. The dentist may recommend a dental filling, implant, crown or bridge, depending on the nature…
Is A Dental Bridge the Best Way to Replace a Missing Tooth?
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, a dentist will recommend a dental bridge if the patient has a lot of their natural teeth left. This is due to the fact that dental bridges are only effective if there are multiple natural teeth adjacent to the gap left by the missing teeth to hold the artificial tooth in place.
Is a dental bridge the best option for replacing missing teeth?
A lot of people replace their missing tooth with a dental bridge because they are more durable than dentures. They also allow patients to chew and speak without discomfort, which is something a lot of people who have dentures complain about. Dental bridges are not as effective as dental implants, which are as close to natural teeth one can get. But, they are still the best alternative for most people because not everyone is an ideal candidate for implants.
The most common types of dental bridges used by dentists are:
Tooth-supported fixed bridge
These types of bridges are commonly used to replace a single missing tooth. It requires the dentist to grind away at the healthy adjacent teeth that the dentist will use to attach and support the bridge.
Unlike dental implants, which stimulate bone growth, fixed bridges do not stimulate bone growth. That means the bone that was holding the missing tooth in place will likely deteriorate over time.
This is also known as a Maryland Bridge. Dentists use this type of bridge to replace missing front teeth because they do not go through the same type of biting and chewing demands the back teeth go through. Unlike the fixed bridge, which requires the grinding and filing the adjacent teeth and attaching dental crowns to them to hold the artificial tooth in place, resin-bonded bridges are attached to the back of the healthy teeth using the wings on each side of the artificial tooth. This means the teeth do not have to be filed before the missing tooth is replaced.
The resin-bonded dental bridge is also used to replace missing front teeth because it can be color-matched to the natural teeth, which makes it difficult to spot. However, the fact that it is made from resin makes it less durable than the fixed bridge.
Advantages of dental bridges
The following are a few reasons to get bridges:
- They are more durable than dentures
- They do not take as long as dental implants
- They are minimally invasive
- They do not cost as much as implants
Disadvantages of dental bridges
These are some reasons to not get bridges:
- They are not as durable as dental implants
- They have to be removed for cleaning
- They do not promote bone growth
Even though a dental bridge is not as sturdy as a dental implant, most dentists consider it the best alternative to replace a missing tooth. They are cost-efficient and do not require cutting into the jawbone. This, in turn, makes it more appealing to people trying to replace their missing teeth.
A dental bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth without having to undergo surgery or dealing with dentures moving around in your mouth. If you want to replace a missing tooth ask your dentist if a dental bridge will work for you.
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