Traditional vs. Implant-supported Dental Bridge
If you are missing one to three adjacent teeth, a dental bridge can be an ideal solution to “bridge” the gap. Drs. Joseph Perry and Thomas Shields offer two types of dental bridges at our San Antonio, TX office: traditional and implant-supported bridges.
Both of these options restore oral function, but they use two distinctly different means to hold the dental bridge in place. Here, we discuss the differences between traditional vs. implant-supported dental bridges.
What Is a Traditional Bridge?
A traditional dental bridge is secured to healthy teeth with dental crowns. The bridge is attached to the crowns, and fills in the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth.
One of our skilled doctors will evaluate your candidacy for a traditional bridge before recommending this treatment option. Patients must be in good oral health and have healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or teeth.
During the procedure, one of our dentists will remove some structure from the surrounding teeth so they can be fitted with supporting dental crowns. An impression will be taken so your custom bridge can be fabricated to look and feel completely natural.
When the custom crowns are ready, they are cemented in place, acting as the anchors for your bridge. Our office offers a variety of materials for your crowns and bridges, including porcelain, zirconia, and porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Before the prosthetic is cemented in place, we will conduct a bite assessment to ensure that the bridge fits comfortably with your existing teeth.
What Is an Implant-supported Dental Bridge?
An implant-supported dental bridge is secured in place with one or more dental implants, replacing a single missing tooth or a span of missing teeth. The implant effectively acts as the tooth’s root.
Candidates for implant-supported dental bridges must be in good oral health and have adequate jawbone density to support the implants.
During the procedure, a surgical-grade, titanium screw is placed in your jawbone. After three to six months, the surrounding bone and tissues will grow around the implant, holding it in place.
Next, an abutment is placed on the implant, and the gums are allowed to heal for an additional two weeks.
Finally, your custom bridge is attached to the abutment, completing your treatment.
Which Option Is Right for Me?
There are several variables to consider when deciding between a traditional or implant-supported bridge.
- Dental implants require a longer recovery time. It may take up to several months from the time the implants are placed until your permanent bridge is attached to your implants.
- Dental implants prevent jawbone recession. The titanium screws stimulate the surrounding jawbone, thereby preventing jawbone recession.
- Traditional dental bridges offer a shorter timeline and lower cost. These factors make traditional bridges an attractive option for patients.
Both traditional and implant-supported bridges can last 15 years or more with proper care.
Learn How Traditional or Implant-supported Bridges Can Restore Your Smile
Modern dentistry offers several options for missing teeth. Depending on your needs and goals, Drs. Perry and Shields will discuss your restorative treatment options. Our focus is on quality and compassionate dental care.
To learn more about how traditional or implant-supported bridges can enhance your quality of life, contact us online or call (210) 349-3745.