If you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, you might be considering the pros and cons of various tooth replacement options. Today, our dentists in the Okanagan Valley explain some reasons to replace missing teeth with dental bridges, compared to using dental implants and dentures.
What is a dental bridge?
This fixed dental appliance bridges the gap left by missing teeth. A dental bridge may be used to replace one missing tooth or several missing teeth in a row. Bridges are normally made of two dental crowns (one on each of the teeth on either side of the gap), and a false tooth (or teeth) that bridge the space in between.
How do I know which type of tooth replacement to choose?
Every dental restoration and tooth replacement will have different pros and cons. Your dentist can recommend the most appropriate tooth replacement option for you, to suit your lifestyle, budget and needs.
Dental Bridges or Dental Implants?
Dental bridges and dental implants are both long-term solutions for missing teeth. One important difference between the two is that dental bridges usually need to be replaced after 5 to 15 years, while dental implants can last quite a bit longer than that.
That said, the dental bridge procedure is significantly less invasive than the dental implant procedure (which is classified as a surgery), and you'll need a shorter recovery time. In most cases, dental implants are more expensive than bridges and are less likely to be covered by insurance.
Dental Bridges or Dentures?
The main difference between dental bridges and dentures is that dentures are removable, while bridges are fixed to the surrounding teeth.
Most of the time, a dental bridge will be recommended when there are only a few missing teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth.
Dental bridges tend to be a little more costly than partial dentures, but both tooth replacement options are covered by most dental insurance plans.
Why replace missing teeth?
A variety of dental health problems can arise when missing teeth are not replaced. It can make chewing and speaking difficult, and over time, the teeth around the gap can shift out of position, worsening the problem. In addition, the jaw structure around the missing teeth may start to deteriorate, causing facial collapse.
Bridges, implants and dentures are all different solutions that can all help you avoid these issues. They all fill the space left by missing teeth, prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting, and help preserve your ability to chew and speak.