If you have one or more missing teeth, it can be easy to develop oral health problems beyond tooth decay, such as speech impediments and even periodontal disease. A tooth bridge, also known as a dental bridge, provides the support you need to prevent surrounding teeth from loosening or moving out of their correct positions. But what is a bridge, and how does it differ from a tooth implant?
A bridge is a fixed appliance fitted into the mouth to fill the gap caused by missing teeth, according to the Academy of Osseointegration. This bridge is cemented to the “abutment teeth” on either side of the gap, providing an anchor so that it can be attached to either your natural teeth or the crowns fitted over them. Your dentist places artificial “pontic teeth” onto the bridge, in the space between the abutment teeth.
Implants are posts made from screws or cylinders, inserted surgically through your gum into the jawbone. Prosthetic teeth are then mounted individually on each of these posts, explains the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), to take the place of natural teeth and prevent the problems commonly associated with dental gaps. Keep in mind fitting implants is a much more complex procedure that requires surgical training. If your teeth are in excellent condition, then you won’t have to worry about placing crowns or fitting a bridge to them.