Bridges: Implant Supported vs Traditional
Regarded as the most versatile treatment and tooth replacement option in all of dentistry, a dental bridge procedure is for those who are missing their natural teeth. Dental bridges offer a chance to restore oral health, form, and function. With the help of this tooth replacement procedure, patients can emerge with not only their smiles revived and restored but also their bites and the ability to chew and speak in comfort.
An experienced dentist will be able to provide the right dental bridge treatment to patients. Make sure to choose a clinic that offers traditional fixed dental bridges as well as the implant-supported type. Both of these types of dental bridges are effective and provide multiple benefits. Each of us has unique dental needs and goals; remember to discuss with your dentist which dental bridge option is better suited for you. In today’s post, we’ll discuss these two types of dental bridge.
Also called a fixed dental bridge, the traditional type contains one to three pontics, which are the artificial teeth, and two dental crowns. Depending on where the dental bridge is going to be set, one dental crown may be placed on either side of the artificial teeth, or both may be placed on only one side.
When the dental crowns are linked to the natural teeth adjoining the gap once filled by the missing teeth, the artificial teeth will “bridge” the space – hence, the term “dental bridge.” This creates the look of a full, complete smile. Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits, filling this space will help fix the bite. It will also stop the adjacent teeth from shifting or moving out of their placement in the mouth.
To adapt to the dental crowns that will anchor the artificial teeth or pontics, the healthy teeth adjacent to the crowns must be filed down; they will be the support for the pontics, so they must be structurally stable. With that being said, the alteration or modification of any healthy teeth is never ideal. Because of this, some dentists often would recommend dental implants instead – even to patients who are strong candidates for a dental bridge.
By occupying the gap between the natural teeth, the bridge hinders those teeth from moving out of their positions toward the gap, which might lead to biting issues.
Dental bridges are made of good-quality porcelain to get the most natural look.
Traditional or fixed dental bridges are durable. With proper oral care and frequent dental visits, dental bridges can last for a long time.
The main disadvantage of traditional dental bridges is that they require healthy teeth for support. And these healthy teeth need to be filed in to supplement the dental crowns that secure the bridge.
As we discussed, a traditional fixed dental bridge requires the support of natural teeth. An implant-supported bridge, as the name suggests, is supported by dental implants – not by natural teeth. Dental implants are small posts made of titanium. In many cases of an implant-supported bridge, an implant is surgically lodged in the jawbone to replace each missing tooth. The crowns are then placed and connected to each other to create a uniform piece. In about five to six months, the implants amalgamate with the jaw and become a part of the person’s natural oral anatomy.
An implant-supported dental bridge offers the same advantages as the traditional kind, and more:
The body can’t tell the difference between natural tooth roots and titanium implants. Implant-supported bridges hinder the bone and gum degradation that takes place when teeth are missing.
This type of bridge can last for decades.
This type of implant can completely restore the capability to bite, chew, speak, and smile with ease.
Each patient’s situation is different. When it comes to determining the cost of a dental bridge, the following need to be considered:
- The complexity of the placement
- Materials used
- Number of teeth needed to fill the space
- Additional treatments
- Geographic location
If you are suffering from teeth loss, discuss your tooth replacement options with your dentist. A dental bridge has many advantages. However, there are also factors you should consider when you make a decision.