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Traditional vs. Implant-supported Dental Bridges

Stephen Malki Jul 30, 2018

Types of dental bridgesIf you are missing a tooth or a few teeth, it may be a good idea to consider a bridge at our New Jersey dentistry practice. Dental bridges help fill the space left by missing teeth, and allow patients eat their favorite foods and smile with confidence.

There are different kinds of bridges available to patients based on the nature of their tooth loss and their financial situation. Let’s compare traditional bridges to implant-supported bridges. We’ll note the benefits of each option and also consider an alternative to these two methods of treating tooth loss.

How a Traditional Dental Bridge Works

A traditional dental bridge is a set of false teeth that are removable. The bridge is held in place using brackets on either side of the appliance that latch around the teeth adjacent to the gap. With a dental bridge in place, it is possible to bite, chew, and smile as if you had natural teeth again.

Creating a Traditional Dental Bridge

In order to create a traditional dental bridge, a dentist will take an impression of the patient’s tooth gap and adjacent teeth. A dental lab will create a custom bridge from this impression. Once the bridge is completed, it is sent back to the practice so the patient can try it on. Final adjustments are made when the completed bridge has arrived at the practice.

The Benefits of a Traditional Dental Bridge

Traditional dental bridges have a number of important benefits:

  • Allow patients to bite and chew again
  • Natural appearance means smile aesthetics are improved
  • Durable construction allows the bridge to last for years
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Affordable solution for tooth loss

How an Implant-Supported Dental Bridges Work

An implant-supported bridge is a dental bridge that is anchored into place with dental implants. The implants work as artificial tooth roots, allowing for an extremely secure bridge unlikely to shift or fall out of place when a person bites or chews.

Creating an Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

The bridge itself is created in a dental lab. The important difference is the oral surgery to place the dental implants. The titanium implants are fixed into the jawbone and gum tissue of the patient. Months of healing must take place so that the implant fuses with the natural structures of the mouth.

Once the implant has fused with the jawbone (a process known as osseointegration), patients will be able to wear their bridge without any worries.

The Benefits of an Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

Implant-supported dental bridges have a number of key benefits:

  • Implant-supported bridges are unlikely to come loose
  • Dental implants prevent bone loss and gum recession
  • The implant bridge functions just like natural teeth

Because of the oral surgery involved, implant-supported dental bridges can be much more expensive than traditional bridges, so keep that in mind.

Alternative Option: A Fixed Dental Bridge

In addition to removable and implant-supported bridges, patients can also consider getting a fixed dental bridge. A fixed bridge is a bridge that has two dental crowns bookending the false teeth. These dental crowns are used to cap the teeth adjacent to the tooth gap. This allows the bridge to remain in place with greater stability than a traditional bridge.

In terms of cost, this is a middle option to consider; it is more expensive than a traditional removable bridge but far more affordable than implant-supported bridges.

Learn More About Your Treatment Options

For more information about dental bridges and how they can help you bite, chew, and smile again with renewed confidence, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. We will be sure to answer your questions and address your concerns.

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