If you lose one or more teeth in an injury, your dentist may recommend a crown and bridge as a way to fill the gap with natural-looking replacement teeth.
Proper replacement of missing teeth is important to keep your teeth aligned, maintain your facial shape, and help you eat and speak naturally. A crown and bridge is one of the many excellent options for tooth replacement.
While a dental implant looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth, a crown and bridge is a little different. As the name implies, the “bridge” is a set of one or more replacement teeth, fused together, that covers the gap between your missing teeth.
So, the short answer is YES. Despite the fact that the replacement teeth are fused together, a bridge looks and feels very natural. Unlike dentures, it’s a more permanent tooth replacement method that won’t shift in your mouth.
When the artificial teeth are created for your bridge, your dentist will take care to match the colour to the surrounding teeth, making it very unlikely that anyone will notice you have replacement teeth.
What Are the Differences between Dental Implants and a Crown and Bridge?
A dental bridge is a set of one or more artificial teeth anchored in place between crowns on your health teeth – or dental implants if the surrounding teeth are not healthy.
A dental implant is a single artificial tooth placed on a root typically made of titanium. The titanium root (or implant) is fused to your jawbone, acting like a tooth root.
If you lose one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend dental implants, a crown and bridge, or a combination of implants and a bridge to fill the gap.
Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?
There are several reasons why it is important to replace missing teeth.
- Helps you eat properly. If you have missing teeth, it’s difficult to eat properly. Remember the days when you lost your baby teeth? It was harder for you to eat foods like corn on the cob or take a bite out of apples.
- Helps you speak properly. Your tongue and teeth have a lot to do with how you speak. Missing teeth can cause you to lisp, or make it more difficult for you to pronounce words correctly.
- Helps maintain the shape of your face. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone beneath the gap begins to deteriorate – this can cause your face to change shape and create even more issues with your oral health.
- Prevents bite problems and shifting teeth. Your teeth are naturally aligned to support each other. If there’s a gap, the surrounding teeth shift to fill it in, creating a misaligned bite, and a crooked smile.
- Maintains a beautiful smile. Last, but not least (to us!) is that replacing missing teeth helps maintain your beautiful smile, providing you with confidence and improved mental health.
Why a Crown and Bridge vs Dental Implants?
Cost. Many patients prefer dental implants as the more natural tooth replacement option. Dental implants feel and function most like natural teeth. However, dental implants can be more expensive up front, and dental bridges are more likely to be covered by some insurance plans. That being said, dental implants may last longer than dental bridges meaning you may recover the up-front cost over time.
The other reason some patients choose a dental bridge is because they may be nervous about surgical procedures. A dental implant procedure is a more invasive procedure than placing a crown and bridge.
What is the Right Choice – A Crown and Bridge or Dental Implants?
While your dentist may recommend a bridge or implants depending on your situation, the best option for you depends on your budget, how many teeth you’re missing, the condition of the surrounding teeth, and your overall health.
If cost isn’t an issue and you’re in good health, dental implants may be the better option since they last longer and don’t damage your surrounding teeth. Talk to your dentist to determine the right option for your teeth.
Want to Know More About Tooth Replacement?
If you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth, contact Cranberry Hill Dentistry, your family dental center in Waterdown, Ontario for an appointment to discuss tooth replacement options.