Missing teeth can be a huge hazard, both in terms of comfort and health. If you lose a tooth and don't get it replaced, then you could end up having quite a bit of difficulty with eating and speaking. If you don't even clean and disinfect the site after losing a tooth, then you could even end up with a gum infection.
Therefore, it is critical that you find a solution as quickly as possible. There are a number of different options to choose from, and each offers something a little different. To help you out, here is an overview of one of the less common options, the dental bridge.
What are dental bridges?
The idea of a dental bridge is that it literally bridges the gap between two missing teeth. This requires a healthy tooth on either side of the gap, since each will be used to support the crown that will replace the missing tooth. Bridges can replace several consecutive teeth and are a great option if you have one or two adjacent missing teeth that are flanked by healthy teeth.
How are dental bridges installed?
There are actually a couple different types of dental bridges.
Your basic dental bridge adds a crown to the teeth on either side of the gap. These crowns are then used to support the pontic, which is the middle portion. The pontic looks exactly like a normal tooth, so people won't even be able to tell that you are missing a tooth.
For cases where you aren't able to use both of the teeth that are adjacent to the gap, you can get a cantilever bridge. These bridges only rely on one tooth for support, but it does mean that it will put quite a bit more pressure onto the supporting tooth.
Finally, a Maryland bonded bridge is flanked by wings on either side. These wings attach to the back of the adjacent teeth, which means that you don't need to get crowns installed.
What advantages do bridges have over implants?
In general, bridges are going to cost you a lot less than dental implants. A single dental implant can easily cost $2500 for a single tooth. If you are missing more than one tooth, then you will need to multiply that amount, since you will need to get a separate implant for every missing tooth.
To contrast, a Maryland bridge can cost as little as $1100 for a single tooth replacement or $1700 for a double replacement. This means that you will paying up to twice as much for implants as you would pay for bridges.
What advantages do bridges have over dentures?
Bridges also tend to be a lot more comfortable than dentures. With dentures, you need to take them out frequently and put them back in, which constantly reminds you of their presence. With bridges, you will adjust to your replacement very quickly and won't even notice its presence after a few weeks or months. Talk to a dentist, like Staller & Gandel D.D.S, for more help.