There are many options available to patients who are interested in repairing the smile after tooth loss. The three primary solutions include dental implants, dentures, and dental bridges. Each solution has its own pros and cons, though many patients find that dental bridges are a wonderful middle-of-the-road option that is both affordable and permanent.
Dental bridges are restorations used for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are often a wonderful solution for individuals who want a strong, permanent restoration. However, they require patients to have enough bone structure for successful placement and may be relatively expensive in comparison to other options. Additionally, many patients are turned off by the idea of partial dentures, as they are removable. Partial dentures are fabricated of acrylics and metals and they snap into the dental arch to place a false tooth where the natural tooth once was. Unfortunately, many patients want a restoration they can have placed into their smile and forget about—not a restoration that requires daily removal and cleaning. This is when many patients learn about the advantages of placing dental bridges.
Dental bridges are made of dental crowns on each end and are bonded to false teeth called pontics to create a long restoration. This restoration is made of ceramic, which is fabricated to match the existing natural teeth. This ensures beautiful integration into the smile. The crowns are bonded over the top of the teeth surrounding the space to anchor the bridge. The only special attention a bridge requires is brushing and flossing underneath the pontic to ensure food particles do not build up and result in the development of tooth decay on the teeth underneath the crowns or periodontal disease in the gum tissue.
Dental bridges can last many years with appropriate care, though patients should be well aware that decay and disease could still develop even after the dental bridges are placed. Dr. Carl McMillan of Holistic Dental Centers in the Charlotte, NC area will educate patients on how to maintain the health of their dental bridges to extend their longevity.