Missing teeth can compromise your appearance, to be sure. But gaps and spaces can also have a significant negative impact on your oral health and function. That’s why it’s important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. If you are missing a row of teeth, you can complete your smile with a dental bridge. At our practice, we offer both traditional and dental implant-supported bridges. Both boast impressive success rates – but how can you know which option is right for you? Today, Dr. Richard L. Rodgers and our Atlanta, GA team explore each treatment in more detail.
A dental bridge is fabricated from a single block of ceramic, zirconia, or other high-quality dental material. It consists of two dental crowns with artificial teeth in between them. When the crowns are bonded onto the adjacent teeth, the prosthetic teeth fill in the gap.
To place a traditional bridge, the adjacent teeth must be prepared. This means that Dr. Rodgers will remove small amounts of natural tooth structure. This process makes room for your new restoration and prepares the teeth for bonding.
The average lifespan of a traditional dental bridge is five to 15 years. However, as dental materials continue to improve, many bridges can last upwards of 20 years.
Dental implant-supported bridges are nearly identical to conventional ones by design. However, instead of relying on natural teeth for stability, an implant-supported bridge is connected to dental implants, which are placed into the jawbone during an oral surgery procedure. Implants are the only restorations that replace the roots of missing teeth. As a result, there is no need to alter the natural teeth when placing an implant-supported bridge.
Implants fuse to the natural bone tissue during a process called osseointegration. Consequently, implant-supported bridges last considerably longer compared to their traditional counterparts. In fact, with proper care and maintenance, they can last a lifetime.
To determine what treatment you need, Dr. Rodgers will first perform a complete oral assessment at our Atlanta, GA office. Generally, a dental implant-supported bridge is an excellent option when replacing three to five consecutive teeth. If you are missing more than that, multiple bridges may be necessary. Or, we can talk with you about implant-supported denture options.
If you are only missing one tooth, Dr. Rodgers may recommend a single dental implant and crown. This replaces the tooth without altering natural structure or compromising the health of your other teeth.
Implant-supported bridges are ideal for many patients, but they aren’t right for everyone. For example, certain medical conditions may make oral surgery a risk. If you cannot – or do not wish to – undergo dental implant surgery, then a traditional bridge can be placed instead.
Conventional bridges may also be a better option for those who want faster treatment. While an implant-supported bridge requires multiple visits over several months, a traditional bridge can usually be placed in two to three weeks’ time.
There are many options to consider when determining which teeth replacement solution is best. To explore your treatment options, schedule a visit at our Atlanta, GA practice. Contact us online anytime or give us a call at 404-577-6620.