If you know what a traditional dental bridge is, then you know the greatest benefit is filling a gap in your smile. Bridges have been used for this purpose since the early days of dentistry, and they are better than ever today. There are also other options available, and implant supported restorations are highly recommended. Yet, traditional bridges, also called crown-and-bridge units, remain extremely popular. Why?

The three most common reasons that patients cite for choosing traditional bridges include:

  • Cost – This is the big one. You may have read that implants are more cost effective in the long-term, because they shouldn’t need replacing. That is true, but it is also true that implants are more costly in the short-term. If you are on a tight budget in the here and now, you may prefer a bridge.
  • Stability – Unlike partial dentures, a bridge is not removable. It is permanently anchored to existing teeth, holding it firmly in place.
  • Time – Implants provide unparalleled stability and a host of other benefits, but they can take months to complete. A bridge can be done in just a few weeks.
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A bridge might sound like a good option, and it is. However, you should be aware of a few potential drawbacks. An implant topped with a crown is considered an even better option for several reasons.

  • Longevity – A bridge will likely need to be replaced in a decade or so, whereas an implant should last the rest of your life.
  • Health – While a bridge is not exactly unhealthy, it does involve alteration of the adjacent teeth. They will need to be reduced and shaped to accommodate crowns, which are what supports the false tooth. Unless those teeth actually need crowns, you may prefer an independently supported implant.
  • Hygiene – Cleaning an implant-supported crown is just like cleaning a tooth, but bridges can be a little more challenging. You will need to take a little extra time and attention to remove all of the plaque from under a bridge.

Dr. Dietrich offers several options, because the best answer is different for everyone. He will help you chose the right solution for your oral health and personal preferences. Call us at (708) 576-1900 and schedule an appointment today.

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