Dentist Questions Dental Bridges

What are the benefits of a dental bridge?

I am a 42-year-old male who will need a dental bridge for a missing tooth. What are the benefits of dental bridge?

5 Answers

A bridge is a very common form of replacing a tooth. Generally, if you have a healthy tooth on either side of the missing one, this works fine. The alternative is a single tooth dental implant.. often this is a better choice. This is because no treatment on the adjacent teeth is involved. If the adjacent teeth have no restorations in them, a bridge is not the best choice. Insurance companies will OFTEN NOT PAY for an implant, because it costs more and most of the time they want to pay for the cheapest although not best treatment possible.
Prevents teeth shifting and allows efficient chewing. Improves aesthetics if front teeth are missing.
A dental bridge prevents the other two adjacent teeth from drifting and closing the space. Also, it gives you better chewing capabilities so you don't have posterior bite collapse. It prevents the opposing arch tooth from super erupting/ extruding! I have a 3-unit fixed bridge in my mouth for over 35 years, so it is durable and it's a little bit less expensive than a dental implant!
Good luck!
At one time a bridge was the best/most natural way to replace a missing tooth. That is no longer the case. An implant is the most natural way to replace a missing tooth. An implant restoration consists of 3 parts: the implant, the abutment and the crown. The implant is a small metal piece that is placed in the bone to act like the natural root of the tooth; this piece is below the gums. After the implant has fused to the bone, another piece is placed into the implant that sticks out of the gums; this is the abutment. The final component, the crown, is placed on the abutment. At the end of the process, you have a free standing restoration that looks and functions like a natural tooth.
The advantage of a bridge is that it is cemented in place and you do not have to take it out (unlike partial dentures that have to be removed everyday). Another advantage is that it is usually less costly than an implant. This however can be misleading, A bridge consists of 3 or more crowns joined together - in other words, to replace a missing tooth, you prepare the teeth on either side of the space for a crown, then an impression is taken and the laboratory makes a restoration that bridges the space with crowns on the tow teeth on either end a fake one (or ones) in the middle. While this may be less of an investment in the beginning, flossing is a challenge with a bridge. If you get recurrent decay (cavity) on one of the anchor teeth, the entire bridge has to be replaced; not just the tooth with the decay. This can get costly over your lifetime. Another drawback that is not always true is the cutting down of healthy teeth. This is different for every patient. In some cases, the teeth on either side of the space needs crowns, but sometimes those teeth have nothing wrong with them. Hope this helps.
The advantages of a dental bridge including replacement of a single missing tooth, no surgery involved in the missing tooth site (an implant requires surgery and healing time), and is a permanent fixture/prosthesis that is cemented. Esthetically it is a good option as well.