Dental Bridge: Types, Benefits, alternatives, Use and Costs
Updated: Oct 3, 2021
Is a bridge better than an implant?
It depends on multiple factors, but a dental implant is better than a dental bridge in most cases. When we provide bridges, we prep adjacent teeth to cover the missing teeth area with their support. Prepping healthy natural teeth structure is the last thing we want to do. But in some cases, they are heavily restored, and including them can be helpful for their integrity.
It also depends on the length of the missing teeth area. If you have two or more missing teeth, a bridge can be risky comparing an implant.
When it comes to dental implants, in some cases, providing a dental implant can be hard because of the bone volume and the angulation of the adjacent teeth.
If we can place an ideal dental implant on a healthy patient without any contraindication for implants and if the adjacent teeth of the missing teeth area are healthy, we can say that implant is a better option than a bridge.
How much is a bridge for one tooth?
First of all, if we provide a bridge, it can't be considered one tooth. We must count the retainer teeth we are covering too. So that's why the cost of a bridge depends on the number of teeth we are covering, the type of bridge we are providing, the area we are restoring, the technology we are using and finally, the material we are using to fabricate the bridge. So there are multiple factors to consider.
But we can say that a dental bridge to replace one missing tooth can cost around $2000 to $5000. That's why to clarify the cost; you should book a consult and obtain a treatment plan from us.
Is getting a dental bridge painful?
In this day and age, we can say that nearly none of the dental treatments are painful. Patients can't feel anything we do during the treatment with the right local anesthetic techniques and materials. After the prep, we either provide the permanent bridge on the same day with CAD/CAM digital dentistry or provide a temporary bridge. This approach reduces post-operative sensitivity drastically.
On rare occasions, because of the healthy natural teeth structure loss, patients can feel tooth sensitivity, and the retainer teeth might need root canal treatment. But the possibility of needing root canal treatment after getting a dental bridge is low.
In conclusion, getting a dental bridge isn't painful.
How long does a dental bridge last?
It depends on the material we use, patients' oral habits, and patients' oral hygiene.
While some materials are prone to fracture and failure, others are nearly indestructible! Therefore, choosing the right material in the right area of the mouth is crucial.
Patients' oral habits are an essential factor when it comes to a dental bridge's lifespan. For example, if the patient has bruxism and clenches their teeth, the bridge will be exposed to excessive stress, which will jeopardize the bridge's integrity and lifespan.
Patients' oral hygiene is a significantly important factor when it comes to the lifespan of a bridge. Suppose the patient is not paying attention to their oral hygiene and doesn't attend their regular dental check-ups. In that case, the probability of having a cavity or periodontal issue under a dental bridge is getting higher. That's why regardless of the restoration, oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are the keys to have impeccable dental health.
In ideal patients and situations, bridges can last five to 15 years and even longer.
What are the disadvantages of dental bridges?
The main disadvantage of a dental bridge can be prepping the adjacent teeth. Of course, there are different types of dental bridges, like Maryland bridges giving us the opportunity of replacing the missing natural tooth without prepping the neighbouring natural teeth. But in traditional bridges, we need to prepare the adjacent teeth, and if these teeth are healthy natural teeth, preparing them is affecting their future integrity.
So if we can replace missing teeth with better options like a dental implant, it would be a better treatment option for long-term success.
The other disadvantage is maintaining perfect oral hygiene under the bridge replacing the missing toot called pontic. Patients with bridges should be meticulous about their oral health using special tools like Waterpik and Superfloss to clean under the pontic. Otherwise, they can have bad breath or cavities on the retainer teeth holding the dental bridge in place.
What is the best option for replacing missing teeth?
Multiple factors play a role in deciding which option is the best for replacing a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth.
We need to consider the number of missing teeth patients have and where they are located. Depending on this factor, the best option for replacing missing teeth can be bridges, dental implants or partial dentures with precision attachment dentures.
The second thing we need to consider the health of the remaining teeth. If the remaining teeth are hopeless, planning something with long-term stability can be a smarter option in the long run. For example, if the patient has six considerably mobile teeth left in the upper jaw, extracting all and providing an all-on-four implant treatment can be wiser for long-term durability.
But when it comes to the treatment options, we have multiple options for replacing missing teeth as cosmetic dentists; what we provide as treatment plans depends on various factors we are considering.
Here are some options for replacing missing teeth.
Dental Implants for Single Missing Tooth; considerably the best option in most cases. There are some situations; we don't want to provide implants. In these cases, we provide different options.
Dental Implants for Multiple Missing Teeth in the same area: Implant-supported dental bridges are a favourable option for replacing multiple missing teeth.
All-on-four Dental Implant Treatment: This approach is one of the perfect options for fully edentulous patients. By placing four or more implants per jaw, we can provide a fully fixed dental treatment.
Tooth-supported Dental bridge: This option is ideal with one missing tooth with heavily restored adjacent teeth.
Removable Partial Dentures with Precision Attachments: This option is a good option for replacing two or more missing teeth for patients who are not good candidates for dental implants.
Full Dentures ( Implant-supported or not): This is the only option for patients with no teeth and is not a good candidate for fixed implant solutions.
You should check cases with Dental Bridges