A dental bridge has long been a popular method of replacing missing teeth. By literally ‘bridging the gap’ with false teeth attached to the framework of a bridge, functionality and aesthetics are restored. Before receiving a bridge, however, you will have to decide how you want to have it supported. As a dentist in Glasgow we want all our patients to be fully informed and to understand the benefits and limitations of each restorative technique. The information below is intended to give information on both techniques and suggest who might be a suitable candidate for each one.
Traditional bridges are supported with the use of dental crowns. The bridge is made up of one or more replacement teeth and anchored in place with a crown at each end. The crowns are cemented over the teeth at either end of the gap, where the missing teeth once were, in order to hold the bridge in place.
In order for the crowns to be fitted the two ‘anchor’ teeth need to be filed down and shaped so that the crowns will fit. This means that these two teeth will always need a crown in the future, so it really is a permanent solution. What’s more the teeth must be healthy in order to support the crown.
Implant supported bridges
Implant supported bridges are very similar to traditional bridges with the difference being that they are anchored to dental crowns which have been placed onto dental implants. The crowns are fitted to the implants which allows patients who don’t have adjacent healthy teeth to the gap where the teeth need replacing, to receive a bridge.
A patient having an implant supported bridge needs to have dental implants placed on either side of the bridge. As it can take on average six monthsfor dental implants in Glasgow to fuse with the surrounding bone and tissue, the ideal candidate for an implant supported bridge is a patient who loses further teeth once implants have been placed.
Which technique is the right one for you?
The choice of dental bridge depends mostly on the condition of the patient’s teeth. If this is the first occurrence of tooth loss and you’ve only lost one or two teeth, then it makes sense to use other teeth to support a bridge. You may also want to consider a traditional bridge if you don’t want to undergo surgery, there is evidence of gum disease, or if there is insufficient bone in which to place an implant.
Conversely, dental implants are a great choice for patients who don’t want to modify what are otherwise healthy teeth. The implant can be placed at either end of the gap where the teeth are missing and the bridge placed over the top to fill the space. Because implants are a stand alone treatment there’s no need to grind down adjacent teeth to fit a crown. Another benefit is that dental implants put a halt to further bone loss helping a patient retain their facial structures. If more teeth are lost in the future to warrant the need for dentures, then implants can be used to stabilise an entire row of replacement teeth.
To learn more about how you could restore your smile with one or other of these treatments why not schedule a consultation with Dr. Colin Gardner at Botanics Dental Care. You can call direct on 0141 334 3408 or book online at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk.