The pros and cons of dental bridges

16th November 2015

If you have one or more missing teeth, one of your options is to have a dental bridge fitted to fill the gap. Leaving the gap is not a good idea, not only for aesthetic reasons, but it makes chewing food tricky and also causes the surrounding teeth to lean into the empty space and can change your bite. This blog is going to explain the main pros and cons of bridges to help you make the right decision.

What is a dental bridge?

In a nutshell, bridges are false teeth that are fixed in place using the real teeth on either side of the gap. They act to fill the space left by the missing tooth so you can carry on as normal when it comes to chewing food. What’s more, porcelain bridges are now available which imitate your existing teeth, meaning nobody will be able to tell you’ve had work done.

To learn more about how they work, see our dedicated dental bridges page.

Advantages of dental bridges
Fast placement

Compared to dental implants and other more complex solutions, bridges can be fixed firmly in place on your second appointment in a matter of days– good news for people who are already time stretched to the extreme.

No fuss compared to removable dentures

In contrast to traditional dentures which have to be removed for cleaning, dental bridges are firmly fixed to your mouth. Bridgework also lasts longer than a denture.

Restore your natural smile

With a fixed bridge in place, you’ll not only perfectly fill the space left by your missing tooth, you’ll also improve the colour and shape of the teeth that are crowned on either side. Smokers and frequent drinkers of coffee, tea and red wine will also be pleased to know that porcelain is also nicely resistant to staining compared to natural tooth enamel.

Improve surrounding teeth

Dental bridges involve crowing the teeth on either side of the gap, so if those teeth are currently cracked, discoloured or have fillings, they’ll be restored to their previous beauty.

Disadvantages of dental bridges
Healthy teeth will need filing down

The teeth on either side of your missing tooth will need to be crowned to hold the bridge in place. A crown involves filing down the natural tooth and adding the replacement cap on top of it. This means you’ll have to say goodbye to the healthy teeth on either side of the gap you’re looking to fill. If this concerns you, you might want to consider dental implants instead.

Nerve damage

There is a small chance (approx. 1% – 15%) that the bridgework will cause underlying nerves to die, necessitating root canal treatment. We can however put your mind at rest by letting you know that we specialise in pain management and dental anxiety.

Cost

While it’s impossible to lay out dental bridge cost options because the price will be determined by your individual needs and how many teeth need replacing. If this is a worry for you, feel free to have a chat with us and together we’ll come up with an interest-free payment plan.

Conclusion

Dental bridges are a semi-permanent fix for missing teeth, so they’re less hassle than dentures and can be put in place faster than dental implants. That said, there are some factors which might prevent you from being eligible for bridgework, such as there not being enough space for your dentist to fit a bridge (which is why you shouldn’t leave it too long when you’ve lost a tooth), or having a lack of healthy bone structure to keep the bridge firmly in place. When you come in to see us, we’ll thoroughly explain all your options until we arrive at the best plan of action for your individual needs.

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