If you’re missing just one tooth, a dental bridge is a good tooth replacement option. A dental bridge can replace a missing tooth with an attractive, fully functional tooth that can last for a long time. Unfortunately, dental bridges rely on neighboring teeth for support, which can cause them stress and may even cause them to fail.
If you have lost a tooth and are looking for replacement options in Scripps Ranch, please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment with restorative dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
For many years, a dental bridge was considered the best tooth replacement option. That’s because it offers many significant benefits. Dental bridges:
- Are fully fixed teeth
- No need to remove bridges for cleaning
- Eat all your favorite foods still
- Are highly attractive restorations
Dental bridges are bonded to your natural teeth. They don’t need to be removed for cleaning and (usually) let you keep eating your full diet. They look very attractive and are only subtly different from natural teeth in appearance.
How Dental Bridges Work
A dental bridge is made up of three parts: an artificial tooth and two dental crowns that fit over teeth on either side of the missing tooth. In the past, these were attached by wires or bonded together. Nowadays, they are likely all one piece.
If you decide that a dental bridge is the best tooth replacement option for you, we will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap to receive dental crowns. Then we will take an impression of your teeth and design your bridge. The impression and bridge are sent to a dental lab where your bridge will be fabricated.
You will wear temporary restorations while you wait. Sometimes you will have a temporary dental bridge. Other times, you may have temporary crowns with something else to hold the space for your replacement tooth.
When your dental bridge is ready, we will evaluate it for color match and fit. If it is acceptable, we will bond it in place.
Limitations of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges used to be considered the best tooth replacement option, and they remain a better option than dentures. But compared to dental implants they have several limitations. Dental bridges:
- Require support from natural teeth
- Put extra stress on supporting teeth
- Can only be used in limited situations
- Don’t stimulate gums or jawbone
Because dental bridges need support from neighboring teeth, those teeth need to be prepared to accept a dental crown. This means sacrificing natural tooth material. Often, it’s healthy tooth material, which is a shame. But if neighboring teeth need crowns anyway, a dental bridge might be a good option.
However, dental bridges put extra stress on the supporting teeth. Sometimes, this can cause the supporting tooth or teeth to fail prematurely. As a result, this limits the situations where dental bridges are considered a good option. In the past, larger bridges were used, but today we typically only recommend them as one missing tooth supported by two adjacent healthy teeth.
Dental bridges also don’t stimulate the gums or jawbone, which can cause them to collapse. It may even lead to a gap or space under the dental bridge.
These limitations mean that for many people, a dental implant is just a better tooth replacement option.
Is a Dental Bridge Right for You?
If you are missing a tooth and think a dental bridge might be the right restoration for you, please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment with Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.