If you want the perfect simile, a missing tooth or several teeth won’t help. Aside from aesthetics, missing teeth won’t help with functionality too. Various advancements in dentistry have presented several options for you if you have a missing tooth. Dental implants and dental bridges are your primary options. Both options have their own pros and cons. Since both have excellent merits, weighing your alternatives before settling on the best solution for a missing tooth is best.
Why Do You Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?
Though missing a tooth won’t have serious consequences in the short term, missing teeth will have detrimental effects on your overall health in the long run. The entire structure of your oral cavity depends on the alignment of teeth, jaw, gums, and joints. Missing a tooth can cause surrounding teeth to shift, which causes several more dental issues, such as gum disease, bruxism, gum recession, and TMJ disorder. After having a tooth extraction because of tooth decay, or other tooth diseases, it is best to visit your dentist immediately to study your options to ensure that the rest of your natural teeth are cared for.
Single Tooth Bridge: Is it Your Best Solution?
A single-tooth bridge is also called a cantilever dental bridge. A cantilever dental bridge may be the best option if you have a healthy tooth on either side of the gap where the missing tooth used to be or if there are not enough healthy teeth on either side of the gap to act as abutment teeth. When installing a cantilever bridge, the dentist places a pontic in the gap and secures them to the adjacent teeth on either side which is healthy. A cantilever bridge secured to a dental implant has a better chance of staying in place.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Cantilever Dental Bridge?
Pros of a Cantilever Dental Bridge
- A cantilever dental bridge helps fill the space left by a missing tooth.
- Single-tooth bridges cost less than a traditional dental bridge
- You will only need at least one abutment tooth for installation.
- The placement procedure is quicker than most dental bridge installations.
- Cantilever dental bridge looks like natural teeth
Cons of a Cantilever Dental Bridge
- Cantilever dental bridges may not suit everyone. The patient should have healthy oral tissues to qualify for this procedure.
- Cantilever dental bridges may fail sooner if not attached well.
- Cantilever dental bridges could get damaged sooner than traditional ones because they are anchored to only one abutment tooth. The natural tooth that acts as an anchor could crack if the pressure is strong enough.
Maryland Dental Bridge: A Viable Alternative?
A Maryland dental bridge is another option for replacing missing teeth. Its most typical application is replacing one missing tooth when healthy teeth are on either side. The concept is similar to a traditional dental bridge where a false tooth is attached to healthy teeth on either side of the gap. Its key difference is its bonding method, which does not require enamel removal. In a Maryland dental bridge, two thin metal “wings” are attached to the back of adjacent teeth with composite resin.
Pros of a MARYLAND Dental Bridge
- It costs lower than most dental bridge options
- Non-invasive and low-risk
- Provides instant results
- No need to remove healthy tooth enamel behind adjacent teeth
- No need to alter healthy teeth
- Generally long-lasting
CONS of a MARYLAND Dental Bridge
- It can cause tooth decay if not properly cared
- It may not match your natural teeth
- Adjacent teeth may darken because of the color of the metal wing
- It may require rebonding after five to eight years
- It is not feasible for molars
- Not recommended if you are missing more than one teeth
Other Types of Dental Bridges
Aside from the two dental bridge options discussed in detail, here are the types of bridges dental practitioners nationwide are offering:
Implant Supported Bridges
An implant-supported bridge is mentioned here because it can be an option if you have multiple missing teeth. Instead of dental crowns, a dental implant supports the other teeth. Implant-supported bridges are expensive options up front. However, an implant-supported bridge requires the most minor maintenance among all of these options and presents the best value in the long run.
Traditional Dental Bridges
In traditional dental bridge, a dentist removes some enamel and dentin from adjacent teeth, or abutment teeth, to make space for a crown. They will place a bridge temporarily over those teeth to protect them until the dentist installs a permanent bridge at a later appointment, where they will remove the temporary crowns and temporary bridge and cement the bridge in place.
Conclusion: For Your Best Options for a Single Tooth Bridge, Talk To Us
Dental bridges provide a cost-effective option for giving your smile a natural look sooner. With Dr. Harman’s help, you can restore your ability to speak normally, maintain normal facial structure by preventing significant bone loss, chew food efficiently, and prevent oral health problems because of a missing tooth. Dr. Harman will present you with the best options ideal for your oral health condition to ensure that you get the best permanent solution for your tooth replacement, whether dental implant vs. bridge. To know more about your single-tooth bridge options, discuss cost of dental bridge vs. implant for your specific case, and to book an appointment, call us at (602) 840-5300.