If you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, you may be considering the pros and cons of various tooth replacement options. Here, our Kelowna dentists discuss some of the benefits of replacing missing teeth with dental bridges, compared to those of dental implants and dentures.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a permanently attached dental appliance that fills the gap left by missing teeth. It can be used to replace a single missing tooth or a row of missing teeth. Bridges are typically composed of two dental crowns (one on each side of the gap) and the 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 has advantages and disadvantages. Your dentist will recommend the best tooth replacement option for you based on a number of factors, including your needs, budget, and lifestyle.
Dental Bridges or Dental Implants?
Dental bridges and dental implants both are long-term solutions for missing teeth. One important difference between the two is that dental bridges typically need to be replaced after 5 to 15 years, while dental implants can last quite a bit longer than that.
However, the dental bridge procedure is significantly less invasive than the dental implant procedure (which is a surgery) and has a shorter recovery time. Dental implants are typically 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?
When missing teeth are not replaced, a variety of dental health issues can arise. It can make chewing and speaking difficult, and the teeth around the gap can shift out of position over time, exacerbating the problem. Furthermore, the jaw structure around the missing teeth may begin to deteriorate, resulting in 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.