3 Alternatives to a Traditional Dental Bridge
Are bridges a good way to fix your smile?
A dental bridge is a popular way to replace missing teeth, but will it work for you? The best way to find out is to compare dental bridges with alternative treatments.
What is a dental bridge?
A traditional bridge is made up of two parts. The first is a fake tooth or pontic, and its job is to replace the missing tooth. The second part is called the abutment, and it anchors the pontic in place. Abutments are dental crowns that are bonded onto the natural teeth found on either side of the missing tooth.
In order for the abutments to hold fast, the teeth they are bonded to must be filed down, reshaped and contoured.
Read on to see how traditional dental bridges compare with other treatments.
1. Maryland bridges
A Maryland bridge is a more cautious approach to the dental bridge, as it does not use abutments. Instead, the pontic is held in place by a metal framework bonded to the back of the teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
The upside of a Maryland bridge is that the anchor teeth are left intact. Because no crowns are needed, there is no need to shape and contour healthy teeth. The downside of this type of bridge is that because it is held in place by dental resin, it is only as strong as the resin itself.
2. Implant-supported bridge
This type of bridge is held in place by dental implants. Ideally, each false tooth is supported by its own implant. But where it is not possible to place an implant for each tooth, an implant-supported bridge can consist of pontics anchored by the crowns of dental implants.
Implant-supported bridges are more secure than Maryland bridges. And unlike traditional bridges, they do not require the reshaping of otherwise healthy teeth. One disadvantage of implant-supported bridges is that the whole process takes months, since dental implants take time to heal.
3. Dental implants
A dental implant is put in by installing a tiny titanium post in the jawbone where the missing root used to be. The post acts as the root of the replacement tooth. An abutment is then attached to the "root." Its role is to anchor the outermost part of the dental implant, the crown.
To recap, a dental implant consists of a titanium "root," an abutment and a crown. Dental implants take months and several procedures, but the results last a lifetime. They have several advantages over dental bridges:
1. They are structured just like real teeth, which makes them easy to clean. In contrast, cleaning a dental bridge requires a lot of care. Food can get stuck inside the various parts of the bridge.
2. Attaching abutments to otherwise healthy teeth puts them at risk of tooth decay and fractures. Implants do not have this issue.
3. Dental implants are more aesthetically pleasing compared to bridges.
4. Bridges that are anchored on real teeth become loose with time. They may also be unable to properly bite down on hard or chewy foods.
5. On average, dental bridges only last about 10 years because they often come loose. In contrast, implants last a lifetime.
Choose the permanent option
You should invest in a tooth replacement option that is easy to maintain. The best kind of replacement teeth should be comfortable, allow you to enjoy your favorite foods and be easy to clean.
Consult your dentist to find out which tooth replacement option is best suited for your needs.
What are you waiting for?
Are you considering tooth replacement in the Sterling area? Get more information at https://www.titandentalcare.com.
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