People with one or more missing teeth have several available options for tooth replacement. Dental bridges are one of the most popular choices for both adults and children. Read on to learn about the advantages to choosing dental bridges to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Very simply put, a dental bridge is a false tooth that is held in place with dental crowns on either side. Dental bridges are most often comprised of porcelain, so they have the appearance of a natural tooth.
Certain patients may not be good candidates for dental crowns. Those who are heavy smokers or have poor dentition or large fillings in the surrounding teeth will need to explore other replacement options for the teeth. The surrounding teeth are known as abutment teeth.
Why Choose Dental Bridges?
1. Enhanced appearance – Dental bridges are designed to replace teeth that are missing. The cosmetic advantage is a great smile and restoration of the shape of the face. One or more missing teeth can cause the mouth and cheeks to sink, which gives a person the appearance of being older. Replacing the missing tooth or teeth will fill in the face, providing the person with a rounder, fuller face.
2. Cost – The cost of a bridge over the span of the replacement generally costs less than other replacement methods, such as implantation. Dental bridges are faster to install than implants, and the procedure is much less invasive. For those with dental insurance, bridges are normally covered whereas dental implants are not. In addition, dental bridges last between 10 and 15 years, as long as good oral hygiene is followed.
3. Fixed – Not all tooth replacement options are fixed. Of course, dental implants are considered fixed, but they are much more costly than bridges. Dental bridges are fixed in place, because the false tooth is attached to crowns on either side. The wearer will not have to worry about the dental bridge falling out.
4. Increased chewing ability – Less attention will need to be paid to the area where the missing tooth was, as the hole is filled with another tooth. As the false tooth is attached to the adjoining teeth, chewing ability on the affected side is greatly enhanced. In addition, greater force can be applied to a bridge than to a denture, as the wearer will not have to worry about a bridge breaking.
5. Speech – For those who have a tooth or teeth missing in the front of the mouth, speaking can become slurred. When a bridge is installed the wearer is able to form words with the tongue better, and sounds are better enunciated.
In order to keep the dental bridge in place for as long as possible, it is necessary to continue with routine visits to the dentist. In addition, good oral hygiene practices need to be followed to help ward off any infection or decay in the anchor teeth. Follow the directions of the dentist regarding proper brushing and flossing techniques around the bridge and anchor teeth.