Pros And Cons Of A Fixed Bridge For Missing Teeth Replacement

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The loss of multiple teeth in a row, due to decay or trauma, can cause significant bite issues and impact your self-esteem. So finding a dental replacement is both important from a lifestyle perspective and from a cosmetic dentistry perspective.  One of the potential replacement options is a fixed bridge.

What are some of the pros and cons of choosing a fixed bridge for multiple missing teeth? Here are a few factors to consider before visiting your dental services provider.

Pro: Stability

A fixed bridge is essentially a small partial denture held into place with dental implant roots on each end of the bridge. The implant roots are made of a bio-safe metal and are surgically implanted into your jawbone. The jawbone will eventually heal around the roots and hold the roots firmly into place.

The support structure means that fixed bridges are quite stable once snapped onto the roots. The bridge shouldn't slip around while chewing, which is a common complaint with traditional full and partial dentures that only sit down over the jawbone. Comfort and stability helps make chewing feel as natural as possible.

Pro: Easy Maintenance

Fixed bridges are easy to maintain because you simply brush and floss around the artificial teeth the same way you would your natural teeth. The bridge's snug fit down over the implant roots means that there isn't a space under the bridge where bacteria can take hold and cause potential decay and infection.

You won't need to take the bridge out at night to soak in a cleaning solution, the way you would need to clean a removable partial or full set of dentures.

Con: Long Treatment Time

The stability of the implant roots comes at a cost of a longer treatment time. When placing a traditional partial denture, your dentist simply needs to create molds of your mouth and then fabricate the dentures, which can be placed in one office visit though readjustments might be need in the future.

Fixed bridge implant roots are placed into the jawbone in one office visit. But then you have to wait a number of months for the bone to fuse around the jawbone to provide the anchoring. Placing the bridge ahead of schedule can lead to osseointegration failure, which means the bone fails to heal around the root and the root is thus weaker and prone to shifting or falling out.

Con: Doesn't Stimulate Bone Growth in Center

An overlooked advantage of implant roots is that the roots provide similar bone growth stimulation that is provided by natural tooth roots. So a dental implant can help the surrounding bone and gum tissue stay healthy despite the loss of the natural tooth in the area.

A fixed bridge, however, only has the implant roots on the ends. The middle tooth or teeth are artificial teeth that simply sit or hang over the jawbone. So the bone in that area isn't being stimulated in the same way as the implant-bearing areas. This can potentially lead to bone deterioration under the center section of the bridge.

For more information, contact companies like Barberio Frank DMD PC.