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Traditional vs. Implant-Supported Bridges: Weighing Your Options

By Burton Gooch on March 11, 2016


Crafting a dental bridgeDr. Burton Gooch is a leading dentist and dental health expert serving the greater Birmingham area. He offers advanced restorative dentistry solutions for the teerth, gums, and jaw, allowing patients to have smiles that are healthy as well as beautiful.

When patients are missing teeth, there are plenty of options to consider. Right now, we want to look at removable dental bridges and bridges that are supported by dental implants. Both are effective in their own ways, and it's important to consider the pros and cons of each.

About Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are appliances that are intended to replace a few missing teeth in a row. They restore the appearance of the a smile as well the ability for patients to bite and chew as they normally would.

The Benefits of Removable Bridges

Removable bridges are held in place by bracketing and bracing around the teeth that are adjacent to a tooth gap. These removable bridges are quite secure and allow patients to smile, speak, and eat their favorite foods again.

Good Candidates for Removable Bridges

Nearly anyone who is missing a few teeth is a good candidate for removable dental bridges. They should have healthy teeth adjacent to the tooth gap so that the bridge can latch onto the existing tooth structure and maintain stability. People who get removable bridges should understand what goes into the treatment process and be committed to properly cleaning and caring for their bridges over time.

About Implant-Supported Bridges

Implant-supported dental bridges are bridges that are anchored into place with dental implants. The dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the patient's jawbone and gum tissue. These posts provide a level of stability comparable to natural tooth roots.

The Benefits of Implant-Supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges are far more stable than removable bridges, which means that patients can bite, chew, smile, and speak without any worries about their bridge coming loose. In addition, the dental implants will prevent gum recession and bone loss, both of which are problems commonly associated with missing teeth.

Good Candidates for Implant-Supported Bridges

Good candidates for dental implants are people who are in good health overall and have sufficient jawbone density and gum tissue density to support implants when they are surgically placed. If there is not proper density of the hard or soft tissue of the mouth, grafting procedures may be considered to build up this missing tissue.

In addition, it's important that dental implant patients understand the procedure will require a few months of healing. This is to ensure that the implants fuse with the living tissue of the mouth, a process known as osseointegration. Only when the process of osseointegration is complete can the implant dentistry procedure be considered a success.

Is One Option Better Than the Other?

Not necessarily.

While implant-supported bridges do offer exceptional hold and very little chance of a bridge slipping or falling out, it requires months for treatment to be completed. In addition, there is an added cost given the oral surgery and increased complexities of care.

During the consultation at our practice, we will be sure to go over the pros and cons of removable and implant-supported bridges. We can also discuss crown-supported bridges as an option, which is another means of fixing a bridge in place. We'll answer all of your questions and address your concerns so you can make a confident decision about your dental health and wellness.

Contact Dr. Burton Gooch Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about dental bridges and how we can help you have a beautiful and healthy smile, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. Dr. Burton Gooch and the entire team here look forward to seeing you in person and helping you make smart decisions about your dental health and wellness.

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