If you are missing two or more teeth in a row, a dental bridge can be a good option for restoring both your appearance and the ability to effectively chew. A dental bridge is an appliance made up of artificial teeth that attaches permanently within the mouth. Dental bridges, although called permanent fixtures, do have a lifespan and will need to be replaced every several years.
There are two types of dental bridges. A traditional bridge attaches to the teeth you have remaining on either side of the gap. Crowns are fashioned with the artificial teeth between them. Enamel is removed from the two teeth on either side of the gap, and the crowns affixed. The other type of dental bridge is implant supported. Implants are placed in the mouth on the edges of the gap, and the bridge is affixed to the implants.
Implant supported bridges typically last longer than traditional bridges. An implant supported bridge routinely lasts more than ten years, and sometimes lasts up to 15 years. The implants themselves last for a lifetime, unlike the teeth that your traditional bridge would be attached to.
When a traditional bridge is used, it will only last as long as the anchoring teeth remain healthy. Because some enamel has to be removed from the anchoring teeth to accept the crowns needed for the bridge, decay is more likely to occur over time. Good oral hygiene plays an important role in how well your crowns and the anchoring teeth hold up to the test of time.
With an implant supported bridge, your bridge is supported by permanent implants. When the implants are initially placed, there will be a healing period before you receive your bridge. After this healing period, the implants are well rooted and can easily support the bridge for many years. You never have to worry about the crowns breaking or the health of anchor teeth.
Available in More Situations
Some patients are not good candidates for a traditional bridge. If you do not have healthy anchor teeth for the traditional bridge, or if you are missing too many teeth, a traditional bridge will not be a viable option. Implant supported bridges are a viable option for everyone. As long as you do not have a deformity of the jaw or problems with healing, your mouth can accept the implants and you can replace as many teeth as necessary.
For more information about how you can restore your smile with an implant supported bridge, contact us today.