If you are having trouble with a tooth and a root canal is not an option, or if you have lost a tooth, or need one pulled, there are two particular treatment options available to replace a single missing tooth: a dental bridge and an implant. Dental bridges are a minimally invasive procedure in contrast to an implant which requires surgery. Because an implant requires surgery, it is a longer procedure and a more costly procedure, but it is also more stable and more permanent. When you are deciding which procedure is right for you, weigh the pros and cons.
How A Dental Bridge Is Placed
A dental bridge can provide a natural looking and long-lasting dental restoration. It is a fairly simple procedure, but it does take two visits to complete (that’s if you already lost your tooth). During the first visit your dentist will prepare the teeth adjacent to your lost tooth for crowns (in the case of a fixed bridge). To do this, your adjacent teeth will be ground down to accommodate the size of the crowns. Your dentist will then take an impression of the prepared teeth and the missing tooth to send to the dental lab where the bridge will be custom-fabricated. During the second visit, your dentist will check the bridge for size, fit, comfort, and color. If all is well, he or she will permanently bond the crowns to the prepared teeth and the pontic (the false tooth that is between the crowns) will replace your missing tooth.
The Benefits of a Dental Bridge
Dental bridges can replace a single missing tooth or several teeth in a row. They are not as costly or invasive as an implant, and they can last 10 years or more. A dental bridge can be an easy and affordable way to restore your ability to chew, your speech, and your smile.