We here at Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care feel that patients should have options when it comes to addressing tooth loss. When missing multiple teeth in a row for instance, both dentures and dental bridges are suitable treatments. While dentures are great for substantial tooth loss, dental bridges tend to be a great option for people missing a few teeth.
There are different kinds of dental bridges out there. We want to use this post to go over two kinds of fixed bridges that may be right for you: implant-supported dental bridges and crown-supported dental bridges.
About Traditional Dental Bridges
It's helpful to look at traditional dental bridges before considering the fixed alternatives.
Traditional dental bridges are dental appliances that are designed to fill the gap that's been left behind by a few missing teeth. They are held in place by latching around the patient's remaining natural teeth that are adjacent to the tooth gap.
With a dental bridge in place, patients are able to bite, chew, and smile with absolute confidence.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
Implant-supported dental bridges are bridges that are fixed in place with dental implants.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically embedded into a patient's jawbone and gum tissue. When in place, the dental implants fuse with the natural structures of the mouth, which means a hold that is comparable to natural tooth roots. Dental implants can be used to hold dental bridges as well as full dentures, partial dentures, and individual dental crowns.
It should be noted that a months-long healing process is required after getting dental implants placed. This ensures that osseointegration occurs (i.e., the fusion of the implants with the structures of the mouth).
Benefits of Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
Dental implants offer a level of support and stability that is comparable to a person's natural tooth roots, meaning that dental bridges are highly unlikely to shift out of place. In addition, the dental implants prevent bone loss and gum recession from occurring as a result of a tooth gap, which is something that cannot be addressed by other kinds of solutions for missing teeth.
Crown-Supported Dental Bridges
Crown-supported dentures are bridges that are fixed in place by dental crowns which cap the remaining natural teeth adjacent to/bookending the tooth gap.
Dental crowns are traditionally used to restore teeth that have been seriously damaged or decayed, functioning as caps that fit over a tooth that has been prepped. When used to support dental bridges, the crowns are fitted over the natural teeth next to the tooth gap in order to hold the dental bridge stable. It's important that the patient's remaining teeth be healthy enough to ensure stability of the dental crown.
Benefits of Crown-Supported Dental Bridges
Crown-supported dental bridges are very stable and can be placed and ready in far less time than implant-supported dental bridges. This means that patients do not have to wait for months before their smile is aesthetically and functionally restored.
Tailoring Treatment to Meet the Needs of the Patient
During your consultation at the practice, we will be sure to go over all of the pros and cons of your treatment options to ensure that you undergo the right treatment to meet your needs. Some patients may be better served through implant dentistry than others, for instance, while other patients may find that they are not ideal candidates for treatment because of the need for surgery.
Learn More About Advanced Restorative Dentistry
If you are missing teeth and would like to find out if a fixed dental bridge is right for you, it's important that you contact our family dental care centers today. The team at Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care will go over all of your options for replacing your teeth so that you can make the best possible decisions about your dental care needs.