If you are missing a tooth, it’s important to replace it. A dental bridge is an attractive, functional tooth replacement that can let you bite and chew normally–without surgery. Dental bridges use your natural teeth for support, which lets the replacement tooth work as well as your natural teeth. Dental bridges can only be used in limited situations, but when appropriate, they are very good tooth replacements.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are a good tooth replacement options. They:
- Are fixed, not removable restorations
- Let you bite and chew normally
- Look very attractive
- Are long-lasting–usually last more than a decade
- Don’t require surgery–just normal preparation for dental crowns
Unlike dentures, dental bridges are bonded to your natural teeth. They aren’t removable and won’t fall out. Because of this, they let you bite and chew normally.
Modern dental bridges look very attractive and natural–most people won’t be able to tell you have a bridge.
Bridges are durable like dental crowns. When they’re placed in an appropriate situation with healthy support teeth, they will usually last more than a decade if properly cared for.
And for people who don’t like the idea of dental implant surgery, bridges are a great way to get a fixed tooth replacement.
Limitations of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are good tooth replacements, but they are not the best available. The drawbacks of dental bridges include:
- The need for support from natural teeth
- Can contribute to failure of supporting teeth
- Bridges don’t stimulate jawbone or gums
- Only usable in limited situations
Dental bridges need the support of natural teeth. Sometimes, this means that we have to remove natural tooth material from healthy teeth, which we would rather not do. In fact, sometimes dental bridges can contribute to early failure of the supporting teeth. This mostly happens in situations called “cantilever bridges,” which are supported by teeth on only one side.
Dental bridges don’t stimulate the jawbone and gums, which can allow the jawbone to diminish under the replacement tooth. Sometimes, this leads to a gap under the bridge, which can look unattractive.
Because of these factors, we only recommend dental bridges in limited situations, usually preferring dental implants whenever possible.