Getting a dental bridge can replace a number of missing teeth and restore your smile to its former brilliance. While most people are interested in bridges and expect that's all they'll need, many dentists will recommend getting dental implants, as well. If you're curious as to why you need this additional procedure and expense, then here's what you need to know.
How Bridges Used To Work
At one time, dental bridges were typically used all on their own when people were missing several teeth in a row. Dentists would rely upon neighboring teeth in order to harness the dental bridge on either side. Obviously, you would need to have these teeth present in order to get the bridge, which could be an issue for some. However, there was a bigger problem this could cause.
The Problems They Caused
Dental bridges were essentially connected to a surviving tooth on either side of the bridge with wire. This provided a stable environment for the bridge but put a lot of pressure and strain on the neighboring teeth. Over time, as you started chewing and grinding down on the bridge, that would put additional strain on the neighboring teeth. This could not only damage the enamel but over a long period of time, it could cause those two teeth to slip slightly out of position, making them more crooked. This could mean needing to reset the bridge entirely, in addition to the cosmetic damage done to the teeth.
The Implant Solution
Dental implants are preferred to be used as the dental bridge posts these days. There are two unique advantages to this.
For starters, dental implants can be used when you don't have any remaining teeth, or no remaining teeth in the right places to act as posts for the bridge. A dental implant can be inserted on both sides to take on this role.
In addition, dental implants are significantly stronger than real teeth, and since they're synthetic, they're not in danger of having enamel worn down as real teeth can with bridges. In other words, your dentist is most likely recommending that you get dental implants for your bridges to give you the healthiest and best-looking smile possible.
Dental bridges are rarely used on their own anymore, but you can rest easy knowing that your dentist wants you to get implants for your own best interests. While there will be a little more time and expense involved in getting implants first, it can help to extend the life of your bridge and will protect you from further teeth being damaged or falling out.
For more information on dental bridges and dental implants, reach out to a local dentist.