The Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges

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What are the advantages of dental bridges?

Dentists can provide bridges made from gold, metal alloys and porcelain. The most popular choice when it comes to the material for making the artificial teeth (called pontics) supported by dental bridges in Yaletown Vancouver is porcelain because it is the most subtle and natural-appearing material. Your dentist will work carefully to select a colour for the porcelain material to ensure your bridge blends naturally with your own natural teeth.

Dental bridges are not your only option for replacing missing teeth. Another increasingly popular option for replacing teeth is to use dental implants. Dental bridges are a far less expensive option compared to dental implants, although their 10-year lifespan is frequently shorter than the potential lifespan of titanium dental implants.

To receive dental bridges is a much less invasive and time-consuming process than the procedure for receiving dental implants. To receive dental implants requires several dental appointments over the course of several months due to the need to recover from implant surgery before a replacement crown or bridge can be put in place. Receiving dental bridges also requires at least two appointments, but those appointments are usually separated by just a couple of weeks while the bridges are being prepared by dental technicians. A dentist in Yaletown Vancouver can even eliminate that weeks-long delay by offering same day crowns with the CEREC system. Using CEREC, your dentist in Yaletown can produce dental crowns to replace your missing teeth in just one appointment while you wait in the office.

Dental bridges in Yaletown Vancouver don’t require any particular maintenance, but simply require that you take care of your underlying teeth by brushing and flossing to avoid the accumulation of plaque and tartar. Maintaining dental bridges don’t require any intentional or specific visits to a dentist near you, but your dentist and hygienist will inspect the condition of your bridges at every dental checkup.

What are the disadvantages of dental bridges?

Your mouth is a dynamic place and your bridges are exposed to a lot of stress and pressure while you bite and chew. As a result, dental bridges are not a permanent solution for tooth loss, though a well-maintained bridge will last a decade. A dentist near you will describe an even potentially longer-lasting version of a traditional dental bridge — an implant-supported bridge that doesn’t rely on your other teeth and that can last a lifetime.

Traditional dental bridges are held in place by crowns placed over two (or one, in the case of a cantilever bridge) teeth on either side of the gaps in your jaw. To receive those crowns, those teeth need to be modified by the removal of a thin layer of enamel. Your dentist may suggest a Maryland bridge (also called a resin-bonded) bridge that doesn’t require the modification of a tooth, but even that option is attached to the reverse side of your adjacent natural teeth with resin compounds. This disadvantage of dental crowns can be eliminated by opting for an implant-supported bridge, though receiving implants is a much more invasive, time-consuming and expensive option compared to traditional dental bridges near you.

The need to remove enamel from adjacent teeth to accommodate crowns to support traditional dental bridges means that those neighbouring teeth can be exposed to the risk of increased sensitivity and even nerve damage. It also means that, even if you later decide to replace your bridge with implants or a partial denture, those modified natural teeth will always need to be protected by crowns.

When you put these advantages and disadvantages of dental crowns up against each other, how do they stack up for you? To find out if dental bridges are right for you — and exactly what kind of bridge would best meet your needs —arrange for an appointment with a dentist near you.