Smile Solutions: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Bridges

Smile Solutions: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Bridges Dental Bridges in Gig Harbor, WA. Peninsula Family Dentistry offers dental implants, general, cosmetic, restorative, family dentistry and more in WA

A gleaming smile can be a key asset in your personal and professional life. However, when addressing missing teeth, there are several options to consider. One popular choice for you may be a dental bridge, a versatile solution offered at Peninsula Family Dentistry in Gig Harbor. At our dental office, we are here to help patients in the Gig Harbor area. We have even had patients travel from Port Orchard and other communities from the South Kipsat area for their care. Our dentist, Thomas Duffy, DDS,  loves being a dentist and helping patients who are looking to restore their dental health and their smiles. He is also known for his attention to detail and precision dental skills.

This blog post will explore the five essential advantages and considerations of bridgework for our dental patients. By understanding the full scope of the care Dr. Duffy and his team offer,  we aim to equip our readers with the knowledge they need to make informed choices about their oral health.

Colloquially there are two types of dental bridges: “fixed bridges,” which are not removable, and “partial dentures”, which commonly used to be called bridges that can be removed by the patient. For the purposes of this article, we are discussing fixed bridges

Bridging the Gap: What are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are a vital–and long–time—tool in the arsenal of modern dentistry. They are used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge, just as the name suggests, “bridges” the gap where teeth are absent. It consists of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap—these anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth – and a false tooth or teeth—called a pontic—in between the abutment teeth. 

The Bright Side of Bridges: The Pros

Dental bridges offer an array of benefits for you and your smile which can be both functional and cosmetic. The pros of bridges include:

  1. Enhanced Appearance and Function: One clear benefit of dental bridges is the immediate transformation of your smile and bite. A missing tooth may not only impact your appearance, but it can also significantly alter your bite and speech. Bridges effectively correct these issues, restoring your mouth’s natural appearance and full functionality.
  2. Stopping the Shift: When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth can shift out of their normal position. Dental bridges prevent this shift by maintaining the proper alignment of the teeth. This alignment is critical for jawbone health and can help prevent oral health issues in the long term.
  3. A Lasting Solution: While little in modern dentistry strictly speaking can be considered a permanent fix, dental bridges can last a very long with proper care. On average, while dental bridges are said to  last anywhere between five and 15 years, with proper care at home a well-designed bridge can last considerably  beyond this time frame, providing reliable function and aesthetic improvement for many patients

Assessing the Downsides of Dental Bridges

  • Need for Healthy Adjacent Teeth: One notable drawback of dental bridges is that they require the modification of the existing adjacent teeth to support the bridge. These teeth need to be filed down to fit the abutment crowns, which could compromise their health over time. However, if those abutment teeth already have crowns or need extensive repair, those needs also can be met by the bridge itself.
  • Potential for Bone Loss: A dental bridge does not replicate the full function of a natural tooth, which means the underlying bone can begin to deteriorate over time. This bone loss can alter the structure of your face and lead to additional dental problems in the future. Long-Term Cost Considerations: While a dental bridge is often a more affordable solution than other options, in the short term, it’s essential to consider your long-term costs. Bridges require extra diligence to maintain at home and can need repair or replacement, adding to the overall investment in dental care.

Dental Bridges in Gig Harbor, WA

Investing in a dental bridge is a significant decision–and for many, it ends up being a great choice. By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your long-term health goals and budget. Your age, the location of your missing teeth,  and the condition of your surrounding teeth and gums will be considerations to discuss with Dr. Duffy as you determine your best treatment plan.Schedule a consultation with Dr. Duffy today and get the necessary care for your smile. Dr. Duffy and his Peninsula Family Dentistry team are trusted professionals at who can offer personalized advice and guidance and foster a dialogue about what’s best for your oral health.

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