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Crown-supported Dental Bridges vs. Implant-supported Dental Bridges

July 7, 2014 — by John Meola
Tags: Dental Bridges Dental Implants Dental Crowns Restorative Dentistry

Middle-aged couple reclining on a sofa and smiling broadly, showing off their healthy teethFor patients who are missing between one and three teeth on a single arch, dental bridges offer a potentially ideal solution. Dental bridges can be secured with crowns to the natural teeth on either side of a gap, or they can be attached to state-of-the-art dental implants to provide the most true-to-life replacement for missing teeth currently available. Both methods provide numerous oral health and aesthetic benefits, and patients of Dental Associates of New England can expect the best results possible whichever method they choose.

If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth and considering replacing them with a dental bridge, you may be wondering which method of securing the bridge is best for you. During a consultation with one of our esteemed, experienced dentists in Boston, crown vs. implant-supported bridges can be discussed in detail. Our dental professionals will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed, confident decision regarding your bridge.

Crown-supported Dental Bridges

Conventional dental bridges are comprised of one to three custom crafted replacement teeth bookended by porcelain crowns. The crowns are attached to the natural teeth adjacent to the gap created by the missing teeth. With the crowns securely in place, the artificial teeth literally bridge the gap, strengthening the bite and completing the smile.

Crown-supported dental bridges offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • They prevent the natural teeth on either side of a gap from shifting out of place and weakening the bite.
  • Because they are crafted from the finest materials, they blend seamlessly into the mouth and last for many years with proper maintenance.
  • The crowns and replacement teeth are customized to complement surrounding teeth in terms of size, shape, color, and even texture to ensure the most natural-looking results possible.

The only real disadvantage of crown-supported bridges is that the placement of the crowns requires that the teeth adjacent to the gap be filed down in order to accommodate the crowns. These otherwise healthy teeth will then be relied upon for support for the lifetime of the bridge.

Implant-supported Dental Bridges

Unlike crown-supported bridges, implant-supported bridges do not rely on natural teeth for support, and therefore do not require the alteration of those natural teeth. Instead, the bridge is secured to tiny titanium screws that are surgically embedded into the jawbone. Because the human body does not recognize titanium as a foreign substance, the implant posts integrate with the bone, becoming permanent fixtures in the jaw. Once the bone has healed around the implants, the bridge can be attached, where it looks, feels, and functions just like natural teeth.

The only disadvantages to implant-supported dental bridges are their cost relative to their crown-supported counterparts and the fact that the placement of dental implants requires invasive oral surgery. Nevertheless, they represent the absolute best method of replacing missing teeth.

Contact Dental Associates of New England

To learn more about crown vs. implant-supported dentures, or to schedule your initial consultation with one of our renowned dentists, please contact Dental Associates of New England today.