Disadvantages of Dental Bridges: 4 Reasons Why They Aren’t For You

BY: Dr. Sandeep Sharma
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Disadvantages of Dental Bridges: 4 Reasons Why They Aren't For You

Disadvantages of Dental Bridges: 4 Reasons Why They Aren’t For You

Dental bridges are prosthetics attached to natural teeth (or abutment teeth) to bridge or close the spaces caused by tooth loss. They are often made of porcelain or ceramic and are attached to the surrounding teeth via metal crowns. While dental bridges can be a good way to replace missing teeth, you should be aware of some disadvantages before getting one.

Read on to find out more.

The Disadvantages Of Dental Bridges?

The Disadvantages Of Dental Bridges?

The following are the drawbacks of dental bridges that you should consider before getting one:

  • Traditional bridges require putting crowns over an existing healthy tooth.
    For a traditional or cantilever bridge, your dentist needs to drill down the nearby healthy tooth to accommodate the crown. This can cause damage and make them more susceptible to decay or infection.

  • Dental bridges can be difficult to clean and floss around.
    It can be hard to brush and floss around a dental bridge properly if you have a dental bridge. This can increase the risk of decay and gum disease of your natural teeth.

  • Dental bridges can cause discomfort and pain.
    Dental bridges can sometimes cause discomfort and pain, especially if not fitted correctly. If you experience any pain or discomfort, be sure to see your dentist right away.

  • Dental bridges can be costly.
    A dental bridge can be quite expensive, depending on the materials used and the number of teeth that need to be replaced. While some dental insurance can cover a portion of its cost, it still depends on your dental cover.

  • Dental bridges don’t help prevent jaw bone loss.
    When there’s a missing tooth or extraction, the jawbone gradually deteriorates. This is because the bone is no longer used to support a tooth. Dental bridges do not have this effect, unlike dental implants, which help stimulate the jawbone and prevent further bone loss.

  • Some types of dental bridges are not durable and can damage adjacent teeth.
    A type of bridge called the Maryland bridge is often made of a metal framework with porcelain teeth. These bridges are not as strong or durable as other types and can easily damage the healthy adjacent teeth.

  • Implant-supported bridges take longer to complete and are relatively expensive.
    Implants are placed in the jawbone to support the dental bridge. This procedure is usually more costly and can take up to five months to complete for the lower jaw or seven months for the upper jaw.

What Are The Benefits Of Dental Bridges?

There are also a number of benefits that you can get from dental bridges, which include:

  • Dental bridges can help restore your smile.
    If you miss one or more teeth, it can affect your smile and make you self-conscious about your appearance. A dental bridge can help restore your smile and boost your confidence.

  • Dental bridges can help restore the functions of your teeth.
    Missing teeth can make it difficult for you to chew or speak properly. Dental bridges can help improve these by filling in the gaps caused by missing teeth.

  • Dental bridges can help support the adjacent teeth.
    When a missing tooth causes a gap, the surrounding healthy teeth can start to shift out of place, which can cause problems with your bite. Dental bridges can help prevent this by holding these teeth in place.

  • Unlike implants, there’s no need to undergo bone grafting.
    For dental implants to be placed, a bone graft procedure may be necessary if there’s not enough bone in your jaw. With dental bridges, you don’t need to undergo such surgery, making it a less invasive option.

  • Traditional bridges take less time to complete than other alternatives.
    Traditional bridges can usually be completed in 2 visits, which are two weeks apart. The first appointment involves placing a temporary bridge while waiting for your permanent bridge to be finished in the dental laboratory. However, note that implant-supported bridges can take several months to complete.

  • Traditional bridges cost lesser than dental implants.
    Compared to other tooth replacement options, bridges are more affordable. This is especially helpful for people who are on a tight budget.

  • Bridges can help maintain your facial structure.
    Losing a tooth can impact the shape of your face, as well as your oral health. A missing tooth can shift your other teeth, leading to more problems. A dental bridge can help keep your teeth in place and maintain the structure of your face.

What Are Other Tooth Replacement Options?

If you are not a good candidate for bridges, your dentist can recommend any of the following:

Dentures

These are removable false teeth (also called fake teeth) fitted over your gums that can be taken out and put back in place easily when you clean them. These are a good option if you don’t have a healthy tooth around your teeth gaps to support a bridge.

They can be complete or partial dentures.
Their advantage over implants and bridges is that they are cheaper. They can last up to 10 years, depending on the type of dentures you receive and how well you take care of them. However, their biggest disadvantage is that they can be quite uncomfortable and easily slip out of place.

Dental Implant

This is a tiny metal post made of titanium or zirconia placed into your jawbone that acts as an artificial root and supports a replacement tooth or a dental bridge. It involves a more invasive procedure that requires surgery and takes up to 8 months or more to complete.
The most significant advantage of dental implants is that they are strong and durable, and their lifespan can be over two decades with proper care.

They can also help preserve bone loss by stimulating the jawbone. On the other hand, dental implants are more expensive than bridges, and there are more restrictions during the healing process. Also, you need a good bone structure to be a good candidate. In addition, you may need more surgical procedures, such as bone graft and sinus lift, before continuing with this treatment.

Dental Crowns

These are also called “caps” and are placed over an entire tooth to improve its appearance, shape and colour or to protect it from further damage. Unlike bridges, dental crowns are not used to replace missing teeth. However, they can be used with bridges to support the artificial tooth.

The biggest advantage of crowns is that they can last long with proper care and help correct minor visual bite misalignment, severely discoloured teeth and cracked or broken teeth that bridges cannot. However, they are not as strong as bridges and can be more expensive.

What Makes Up A Dental Bridge?

What Makes Up A Dental Bridge?

The dental bridge is made up of three main parts: the two dental crowns and the pontic (the false replacement tooth).

The dental crowns are placed on the two adjacent teeth (called abutment teeth) and act as anchors for the dental bridge. The pontic is placed between the two dental crowns, filling the gap created due to tooth loss.

In addition, dental bridges can also be supported by dental implants.

Final Thoughts

Dental bridges are a great tooth replacement option that can help improve your smile and ability to chew and speak. However, they are not suitable for everyone and have a few disadvantages that may not be a good option for some patients. On the other hand, it’s important to note the most significant advantages of bridges: to help restore your confidence and chewing and speaking abilities.

Clear Choice Dental uses advanced equipment and techniques to carry out dental bridge procedures. Both of our dental clinics have dentists with years of experience performing bridges. At your appointment, one of the dentists will gently examine your teeth and gums to determine if you are eligible for this treatment. If you are, your dentist will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth to get an accurate idea of how your new bridge will look. The procedure is usually done in two visits, and they ensure to discuss every procedure they will do. This helps you know what to expect and allows you to ask any questions you may have to help you in your decision-making process.

If you are considering this dental treatment but are unsure if your situation fits the qualifications, call us at 08 9345 0455 for our Yokine dental office or at 08 9452 8877 for our Maddington branch to book a consultation.

FAQs

People with three to four consecutive missing teeth with healthy natural teeth nearby to support the bridges are good candidates for this procedure. You should not also have medical conditions that can cause allergies. However, the ideal way to know if you’re eligible is to visit your dentist for a consultation.

The 2020 Australian national dental fee survey reveals that the average cost of a bridge is $1,200 for a single tooth. Whereas the price of a two-tooth cantilever dental bridge with a crown can range up to $4,540. These amounts can be lower or higher, depending on the types of bridge you need, the number of teeth involved and your location. Ask your dentist for a more accurate quote.

If the procedure is done correctly and you don’t have recurring tooth decay or other dental problems after receiving the treatment, bridges shouldn’t fall out. It’s because they are cemented to bond with the natural tooth or teeth next to it. However, this can also occur during an accident or if you don’t practice proper oral care.

In some cases, dental bridges can damage the healthy surrounding teeth. Firstly, the adjacent teeth need to be filed down to make room for the crowns that support the bridge. Secondly, if not done correctly, the cement used to hold the bridge in place can leak and cause damage to the surrounding teeth. This is why it’s essential to visit an experienced dentist who will ensure they do the procedure correctly.

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