May 03, 2023
Have you ever found yourself shying away from a full-toothed grin due to a missing tooth? The presence of a gap in your teeth can affect more than just your confidence; it could lead to serious health complications. That's where dental bridges step in, serving as a lifeline for your oral health. In this blog, we delve deeper into dental bridges, unpacking their styles, costs, advantages, and disadvantages. Moreover, we'll help you understand why leaving a tooth gap untreated is a recipe for disaster.
Breaking Down the Different Styles of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges act as placeholders for missing teeth. They are artificial teeth anchored in place by the surrounding teeth and can significantly improve both your smile and oral health. The four main types are:
Traditional Dental Bridges:
These bridges are the most common type. They involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (or false tooth) in between. These bridges are strong enough to replace molars and are typically made of ceramic or porcelain fused to metal.
These bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This could happen if you've lost more than one tooth. While they are less common now due to their limitations, cantilever bridges can still be a suitable solution in some instances.
Named after the University of Maryland, where they were developed, these bridges utilize a framework of either metal or porcelain that is bonded onto the backs of the adjacent teeth. As a result, they require minimal alteration to surrounding teeth, making them a popular choice for replacing front teeth.
As the name suggests, these bridges are supported by dental implants instead of crowns or frameworks. One implant is usually surgically placed for every missing tooth, holding the bridge firmly in place. While they require two surgeries – one to place the implants and another to place the bridge – these bridges are considered the strongest and most stable system.
The Importance of Addressing a Missing Tooth
Missing a tooth might feel like an aesthetic inconvenience, but it can wreak havoc on oral health. Firstly, the gap left by a missing tooth can cause the remaining teeth to shift and move, leading to a condition called malocclusion, which can affect your bite. Besides, tooth loss can lead to bone resorption, where the jawbone starts to dissolve due to a lack of stimulation from tooth roots. This can result in facial sagging and premature aging. Also, missing teeth can impact your ability to chew and digest food properly, affecting your nutrition intake.
The Aesthetics of Dental Bridges
A primary concern for many dental patients is whether their bridges will be noticeable. However, modern dental technology ensures that bridges are designed to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. They are custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of your existing teeth, making them virtually unnoticeable.
Comfort, Lifespan, and Care
The process of getting a dental bridge is usually comfortable and can be completed in two visits. While there may be an adjustment period as your mouth gets used to the new bridge, any initial discomfort typically subsides quickly.
With good care, dental bridges can last between 5 to 15 years or even longer. The key to longevity is good oral hygiene – regular brushing and flossing, using an antiseptic mouthwash, and maintaining regular visits to your dentist.
The cost of dental bridges can vary depending on factors like the type of bridge, materials used, and the complexity of placement. Traditional or cantilever bridges generally range from $2000-$5000. Maryland bridges, being less invasive, could cost between $1500-$2500. Implant-supported bridges, due to their complexity and the use of implants, are the most expensive, often costing between $5000-$15000.
Your Dental Health Partner: Nuttall Smiles
Finding a trusted professional for your dental needs is crucial, and Nuttall Smiles in Auburn, Washington, is the place to go. They provide top-tier care with a range of dental services on offer, including dental bridges.
With 26 years of experience, Dr. Nuttall leads a dedicated team that prioritizes your comfort and well-being. Understanding the common fear associated with dental procedures, Nuttall Smiles offers sedation dentistry, ensuring a relaxing and comfortable environment for those experiencing dental anxiety or needing significant dental work.
Invest in your oral health with a professional like Dr. Nuttall, who can provide expert and compassionate care for all your dental needs.