If you have been on a road trip this summer chances are you have driven across several bridges. Without a bridge there would be an expanse of space your vehicle likely would not be able to cross. The bridge serves as an in between to complete the path you are traveling on. It attaches to both sides and expands over the river, ravine or obstacle.
If you think about it a dental bridge is similar. Traditional dental bridges use crowns on adjacent teeth with a pontic, false tooth, in between. A dental bridge is typically made of metal for durability and porcelain to give it a nice natural looking finish. The success rate of bridges is good and could be an option for replacing a tooth.
Not only can a dental bridge provide a pleasing aesthetic look, it can improve speech by filling the gap and help chew food better without having a false tooth to remove while chewing.
A dental bridge can be effective if the condition of both adjacent teeth are in good to great condition. There is another option, a dental implant, that may be a better choice. The best option will vary depending on each individual person based on the condition of their bone and teeth. What I see most often in new patients who are interested in a dental implant is a bridge being used when a dental implant may have been a better option to replace the missing tooth.
There are some risks to a dental bridge, like trama. If you damage the false tooth you may also damage the teeth used for supporting the bridge and the gum tissue around the teeth. They also require a very high level of hygiene due to the risk of infection, if food debris is left in place long. The adjacent teeth will be sensitive for a while and if by chance the bridge fails you will have crowns on both adjacent teeth because during the process of placing a bridge they are cut down to support the bridge.
As with any dental procedure it is important to talk with your dentist about all the pros and cons before each procedure.
If you are replacing a missing tooth please come see us and we will make sure you are receiving the best option for replacing your missing tooth. Give us a call today and we will get you scheduled for your consultation!