Dental bridges can provide a valuable alternative to dental implants for those who want to avoid implant surgery, cannot afford implants, or just want to fill the gap in their smile. If you’re currently considering replacement options for your missing tooth, a dental bridge might be the perfect solution for you.
At Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, in Washington, DC, Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc provide exquisite dental bridgework that can look and feel indiscernible from your natural teeth.
Dental Bridges 101
The dental bridge is aptly named; it bridges the gap between two teeth, replacing the missing tooth in the middle. This general concept has been improved and expanded upon over the years, leading to many different types of bridges. These include:
- Traditional bridge, held in place using crowns on the neighboring teeth
- Maryland bridge, held in place using metal framework instead of crowns
- Cantilever bridge, held in place using one crown
- Implant-supported bridge, held in using dental implants
Bridges require abutment teeth on either side of the bridge. These are rooted teeth that provide stability and keep the bridge in place. Traditional and Maryland bridges require two abutment teeth, while cantilever bridges only need one.
If you do not have any neighboring teeth to hold the bridge in place, you can receive dental implants as anchors. This is less expensive than replacing all of your missing teeth with implants, since you only need enough implants to support the bridge(s).
Assessing your options
Bridges are extremely versatile. You will be able to eat and drink normally, and your smile will look natural. Dental bridges are often considered an alternative to implants because they cost less, don’t require extensive surgery, and serve a similar purpose. However, it’s important to compare the two before making any commitments.
Implants are designed to completely replace your tooth, right down to the root. This prevents bone loss in your jaw and keeps your gums healthy. Dental bridges only replace your tooth on a surface level, and you need to clean underneath the bridge every day to avoid inflammation and infection.
Depending on your age, circumstances, and budget, your dentist will discuss your options and give their input. A bridge might be the ideal solution if:
- You have experienced notable bone loss in the jaw
- You do not want to commit to intense surgery
- You are in poor health
- You are only missing one tooth
- You have 1-2 rooted teeth that can serve as abutments
- You want to replace your missing tooth quickly
Are you considering a bridge for your missing tooth? Having trouble deciding between an implant or bridge? Dr. Culotta-Norton and Dr. Grinc can consult with you personally and help you reach a decision you’re confident about.
To schedule an appointment, call 202-833-1111 or visit the contact page for more information.