Losing one or more teeth as an adult can impact quality of life in a number of ways. When missing teeth are a source of insecurity, make eating difficult, or have led to other oral health problems, dental bridges offer a viable option for restoring dental function and enhancing the beauty of the smile. When considering dental bridge treatment, it is important to be aware of the different options.
At Boston Prosthondontics Dental Group, we take a closer look at two popular types of dental bridges, traditional versus implant-supported dental bridges. To find out which treatment is right for you, schedule a consultation with our Boston, MA practice.
Replacing Teeth with Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional dental bridges have long been used to restore dental function when one or more teeth are lost. These restorations “bridge” the gap left by missing teeth. Traditional bridges consist of one or more artificial teeth, called pontics, which are anchored within the mouth using two dental crowns, or abutments.
With traditional bridges, the abutments are bonded to the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth. In order to bond the crowns to the supporting teeth, a thin layer of enamel must be removed to allow the crowns to fit flush once in place. Dental cement is then used to adhere the crowns securely in place. It should be noted that because traditional dental bridges are bonded directly to the teeth, the teeth must be healthy enough to support the abutments.
The Advantages of Traditional Dental Bridges
There are many advantages of traditional dental bridges:
- Non-surgical treatment: Traditional dental bridges are bonded to the teeth, so treatment doesn't require surgery. Because surgery is not required, traditional dental bridges are often a good option for those who do not want to undergo oral surgery or are not healthy enough for surgery.
- Fast treatment: Treatment with traditional dental bridges allows patients to enjoy restored dental function and appearance in a fraction of the time required for implant-supported bridges.
- Restored appearance and dental function: Replacing missing teeth with traditional bridges restores the smile's appearance and dental function, helping to boost confidence and improve comfort when eating.
Replacing Teeth with Implant-supported Dental Bridges
Implant-supported dental bridges are an effective option for multiple missing teeth. With an implant-supported dental bridge, the restoration is attached to dental implants and not the natural teeth.
Before the implant-supported dental bridge is secured within the mouth, dental implants must be placed into the jawbone. This is done through a minor surgical procedure. Once the implants are placed, the jawbone must be given time to heal and bond to the implants before the implant-supported dental bridge can be attached. This can take several months, but once the jawbone has healed, the dental implants will provide a strong, natural feeling support for the dental bridge.
The Benefits of Implant-supported Dental Bridges
There are many benefits to undergoing treatment for implant-supported dental bridges. Some benefits to consider include:
- Restores multiple teeth at once: Implant-supported dental bridges can replace more teeth with one restoration than traditional dental bridges alone, making them a great option for those who are missing too many teeth for treatment with traditional dental bridges but not enough for a full set of dentures.
- Firmly secured within the mouth: Implant-supported dental bridges provide secure, natural feeling dental function as a result of the jawbone bonding to the dental implant as it heals.
- Restored appearance and dental function: Implant-supported dental bridges restore dental appearance and function, making them a popular treatment for those who suffer from tooth loss.
Find out Which Treatment Is Right for You
To find out which treatment is right for you, please schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today.