Dental bridges are a custom made prosthetic to replace a missing tooth. Bridges are permanently fixed in the mouth and cannot be easily removed. A bridge is supported by the neighboring teeth; known as abutments. The missing tooth is replaced by a crown; known as a pontic. Dental bridges are in essence, multiple crowns fused together. A bridge can help to restore normal biting functions, speech, face shape, and prevents drifting of teeth into misalignment.
A dental bridge and dental implant are great options for replacing missing teeth. It is worth considering that a bridge may require removing the natural tooth structure. Flossing under the bridge can be tedious, but necessary for the longevity of the restoration. Additionally, if one portion of the bridge fractures of gets a cavity, the entire bridge will have to be replaced. Bridges provide immediate results and can be completed within about 2 weeks.
Dental implants have become a more common treatment to replace missing teeth. They do not rely on adjacent teeth as abutments. However, implants require more invasive procedures including surgery. Healthy bone is also necessary for a successful implant. Implants will require multiple appointments and healing time to allow the implant to fully integrate with the bone before an implant crown can be placed.