Why Dental Bridges Should be Avoided
Dental Bridges Can Damage Adjacent Teeth
- Filing down healthy teeth: Dental bridges rely on the adjacent teeth to support them. In order to make room for the bridge, the dentist will need to file down the healthy teeth on either side of the gap, which can weaken them and make them more prone to decay and damage.
- Increased risk of decay and damage: The filed-down teeth are more susceptible to decay and damage, as they have less natural enamel protecting them. This can also lead to nerve damage or even tooth loss in some cases.
Difficulty in Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene
- Hard to clean around the bridge: Dental bridges can make it difficult to reach and clean the area underneath and around the bridge, as well as the adjacent teeth. This can lead to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, which can increase the risk of gum disease, cavities, and bad breath.
- Risk of gum disease, cavities, and bad breath: If not cleaned properly, the area around the bridge can become inflamed and infected, leading to gum disease and bad breath. The trapped bacteria can also contribute to tooth decay and cavities.
The Lifespan of Dental Bridges Is Limited
- Need for replacement every 5 to 15 years: While dental bridges can last for many years with proper care, they will eventually need to be replaced. The lifespan of the bridge will depend on the type of bridge, the quality of oral hygiene, and the amount of wear and tear it experiences.
- Additional costs and discomfort: Replacing a dental bridge can be costly and uncomfortable, as it typically involves removing the old bridge and preparing the adjacent teeth for a new bridge. This can be a significant financial and time investment for some people.
Dental Bridges Can Affect Speech and Chewing
- Location and fit of the bridge: Depending on where the bridge is located in the mouth and how it fits, it can affect the ability to speak and chew properly. Some people may find that their speech is altered, or that they have difficulty eating certain foods.
- Impact on everyday activities: Difficulty speaking and chewing can impact everyday activities, such as eating, socializing, and working. For some people, this can be a significant quality-of-life concern.
Dental Bridges Can Be Expensive
- Cost factors and considerations: The cost of a dental bridge will depend on the type of bridge, the number of teeth involved, and the location of the dental practice. Additional costs may also include x-rays, consultations, and follow-up appointments.
- Weighing the benefits and costs: For some people, the benefits of a dental bridge may outweigh the costs. However, it’s important to consider the financial investment, as well as the potential risks and limitations, before deciding on a dental bridge as a treatment option.
Dental Bridges Do Not Save Jaw Bone from Resorption
- Resorption of jaw bone: Over time, the jaw bone in the area where a tooth is missing can start to resorb, or shrink. While a dental bridge can fill the gap and restore the appearance and function of the teeth, it doesn’t address the underlying issue of bone loss. This can become a problem if you eventually want to have a dental implant placed in the same area.
- Risk of insufficient bone for implant: If the bone has already resorbed significantly, there may not be enough bone to support an implant. This can require additional procedures, such as bone grafting, to build up the bone tissue and create a stable foundation for the implant.
- Long-term cost and time investment: The additional procedures required to prepare the site for an implant can add to the overall cost and time investment of the treatment. It’s important to consider these factors when deciding on a dental bridge as a temporary solution for missing teeth.
If you are considering a dental bridge, it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your dentist or dental specialist. They can help you weigh the potential risks and benefits, and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals.
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