Why Choose a Dental Bridge over a Dental Implant or Crown?
When it comes to leaving great first impressions, it’s undeniable just how much smiling can contribute to it. When you possess a nice smile, people are more likely to see you as someone approachable, friendly, and even trustworthy.
With that said, teeth are a large part of smiling and nicer teeth result in more beautiful smiles. However, not everyone possesses the perfect set of teeth, with some having crooked, chipped, or even missing teeth. Singapore’s leading dental portal Dentaleh warns that this can have an impact on their smiles, often leaving them less than confident with their appearance.
Thankfully, modern dentistry has created ways to help repair and restore the appearance of one’s teeth such as dental bridges, implants, and crowns.
However, among all the three, it’s often more recommended to choose dental bridges over dental implants and/or crowns. Why is that so? If you want to learn more about these procedures as well as why and when are dental bridges better, check out the article below.
Now that we have discussed dental crowns, let’s go into deeper detail about dental bridges such as its types, lifespan, and advantages and disadvantages. Check them out below.
What is bridging in dentistry?
Bridging is a procedure that involves bridging the gaps left by a missing tooth or teeth by placing two or more dental crowns on either side of the gap. It helps restore the full appearance of one’s teeth, making it more complete and attractive.
They are anchored to natural teeth or implants which are called “abutment teeth.” Meanwhile, the false tooth or teeth in between these abutment teeth are called “pontics” and can be made of various materials such as porcelain, gold, alloys, or even a combination of all three.
How much should a tooth bridge cost?
It can be difficult to determine a dental bridge cost estimate as it often varies from dentist to dentist. However, depending on the type of dental bridge you want to avail of, it can range anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 for the pontic and dental crowns for the abutment teeth.
To break it down, traditional and cantilever dental bridges cost around $2,000 to $5,000 while Maryland or resin-bonded bridges cost somewhere from $1,500 to $2,500. For those who prefer implant-supported dental bridges, it can cost them around $5,000 to $15,000. However, this can cover around 3 to 4 teeth.
What is teeth crowning?
Before we go in-depth about dental bridges and implants, let us first discuss what is teeth crowning as it’s a common factor between the two.
Dental crowns are defined as tooth-shaped covers or caps that are placed over teeth to help restore its appearance, strength, and size as well as shape. They are cemented in place, allowing it to fully cover the visible part of the tooth.
Dental crowns are often used for cracked and broken teeth as well as teeth that are almost completely gone. They are also used to hold dental bridges in place as well as cover dental implants.
They can also be used to enhance the appearance of one’s teeth, making it more appealing and attractive.
What are the different types of dental bridges?
In terms of the types available, there are three major types of dental bridges. They are as follows:
• *Traditional dental bridges *
These involve making a dental crown for the tooth on both sides of the gap while putting a pontic in between. This is the most common type of dental bridge and often uses porcelain that is fused to ceramic or metal.
• Maryland bonded dental bridges or resin-bonded dental bridges
This type of dental bridge is often adhered to your remaining teeth and often involves only one side of the gap. They are usually made of porcelain or metal-fused porcelain materials. Sometimes, this type also makes use of plastic gums and teeth that have a metal/porcelain framework for support.
• Cantilever dental bridges
The least common of the three and is the least recommended as well, Cantilever dental bridges are used only when there are teeth on only one side of the gap.
Are dental bridges removable?
While they are often made so they are permanently affixed to your abutment teeth, there is a type of removable dental bridge. This is called a removable dental bridge or “removable partial denture.”
These are less invasive compared to fixed dental bridges and they have the bonus of being easier to clean as you can remove them whenever you need to clean them.
How long does a dental bridge last?
Dental bridges often last as long as 5 to 7 years, sometimes even lasting up to 10 or 15 years if you observe proper care and maintenance, before needing replacement.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dental bridges?
• They are fixed in place. This means they can be cleaned regularly just like your other teeth as they don’t need to be removed.
• Easier and faster adjustment. Dental bridges are more lightweight so this makes it easier and faster for you to adjust to the feeling compared to other methods.
• Less costly. Compared to implants and other dental procedures, dental bridges are more affordable and dental plans are more likely to cover this procedure than others.
• Quick and painless. If you need an immediate solution to your missing teeth, then dental bridges are more recommended as the procedure of installing them only takes 2 to 3 visits to your dentist. It’s also relatively painless compared to implants due to the lack of surgical procedures.
• Non-invasive. Dental bridges serve almost the same purpose as implants but without the invasive surgical procedure necessary to go through with it.
• More difficult to clean. To ensure that you don’t suffer from tooth decay, brushing, and flossing under the false tooth is a must as well. However, it might entail using different cleaning materials than what you’re used to which can make it more difficult to clean.
• Affects adjacent teeth. Since it requires support from the neighboring teeth to fill in the gap, they need to be strong enough to handle the dental crowns. However, if they are less than structurally sound, dental bridges may be impossible. They may also suffer from damage as well, eventually needing implants.
• Has a shorter lifespan. As mentioned, dental bridges last for only about 5 to 7 years before needing replacement, sometimes 10 or even 15 if you’re consistent with the cleaning and maintenance.
• Changes the structure of the teeth. The installed dental crowns may affect your teeth’s structure.
Is getting a dental bridge worth it?
Although it’s not as long-lasting as a dental implant, getting a dental bridge is worth it if you’re concerned about budget and the timeframe of the procedure. As mentioned, it’s the more affordable and quicker option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Dental Bridges vs Other Replacements
To have a clearer idea of why you should get a dental bridge, check out the following sections, detailing the differences between dental bridges and other replacement procedures.
What is the difference between a dental crown and a dental bridge?
They are similar in the sense that they help restore your smile. However, a dental crown is used when the tooth or teeth are only damaged while a dental bridge is used when a tooth or teeth are missing.
What is the difference between a denture and a dental bridge?
The main difference between a denture and a dental bridge is their permanence. Dental bridges are meant to be fixed and permanent whereas dentures are detachable, allowing you to remove them whenever you need.
For those who are missing only one or two teeth, dental bridges might be the better option but if you have a tight budget and need to replace several teeth, dentures are the recommended option.
What is the difference between a dental bridge and implant?
One of the major differences between bridges and implants is the cost of the procedure. Bridges are typically less expensive than implants and depending on your dental plan, they are more likely to cover bridges than implants.
On the other hand, in terms of lifespan, dental implants generally last longer than bridges and require less frequent replacements compared to the latter.
Is a bridge better than an implant?
In terms of which is better, it really depends on your needs and preferences. If you only need to replace one tooth or two, then a dental bridge is a much simpler and less painful procedure to undergo.
Dental bridges are also better if you need to replace your missing tooth or teeth immediately as the procedure only requires around 2 or 3 visits to the dental clinic. The recovery and adjustment period is also shorter and easier compared to dental implants.
Moreover, if you have budget constraints, dental bridges are comparatively more affordable than implants and dental plans are more likely to cover this than implants.
However, if you want something that would last more than a decade, then an implant is the way to go as they tend to last longer and needs less frequent replacement than bridges. Nevertheless, they can be painful as it involves surgery and the recovery period can be months long.
When it comes to restoring your smile, especially when you’re missing a tooth or two, there is really no “better” option as it will ultimately depend on your needs, budget, and preferences. However, dental bridges are the least costly and least invasive tooth replacement procedure, especially when compared to dental implants.
Dental bridges are also easier to get used to compared to dental implants and undergoing bridge dentistry is significantly less painful than getting implants.
Nevertheless, whichever dental procedure you go for, make sure to ask your local dental clinic about what they recommend best for your case. After all, restoring your smile is always worth investing in.
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