Why You Need a Teeth Bridge: Common Causes Explained

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From affecting your smile and self-confidence to making it difficult to chew food or speak clearly, a missing tooth isn’t just a cosmetic issue. This is where teeth bridges come into play.

A teeth bridge offers a quick and relatively simple solution to replace missing teeth. They also redistribute the forces in your bite, helping you chew more efficiently. This article will explore the types of teeth bridges, why it’s necessary to replace missing teeth, common reasons you would need a bridge, and cost considerations, especially for those in Canada.

Replacing missing teeth is not just about aesthetics; it is vital for oral health and general well-being. A teeth bridge is an effective solution to consider.

 

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What is a Teeth Bridge?

A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration designed to replace one or more missing teeth by “bridging” the gap between two existing teeth or dental implants. 

Evan Frisbee, a dentist in Jasper, Georgia, explained that a dental bridge consists of crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap, as well as a false tooth or teeth (known as pontics) to fill the missing space. These crowns and pontics can be made from materials such as porcelain, ceramics, or metal alloys.

 

Types of Teeth Bridges

Wondering what options you have? Teeth bridges come in different types, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

  • Traditional Bridges

A traditional bridge involves creating a crown for the tooth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth, with a pontic in between. The adjoining teeth are prepared by removing part of the enamel to make room for the crown, which is then cemented into place.

  • Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges but require only one adjacent tooth to be prepared for the supporting crown. This means that the bridge is anchored to a single existing tooth.

  • Maryland Bonded Bridges

This is also known as a resin-bonded bridge. A Maryland-bonded bridge consists of a false tooth with metal or porcelain wings on either side. These wings are then bonded to the backs of the adjacent teeth.

  • Implant-Supported Bridges

Rather than relying on crowns or frameworks, implant-supported bridges use dental implants as a foundation. Generally, one implant is surgically placed for each missing tooth, holding the bridge in position.

 

Summary: Types of Teeth Bridges and Their Features

TypeMaterial UsedSuitable ForAdvantagesDisadvantages
TraditionalPorcelainMultiple missing teethReliableRequires healthy adjacent teeth
CantileverMetalSingle missing toothMinimal tooth alterationLess stable
Maryland BondedPorcelain, MetalFront teethLess invasiveWeak
Implant-supportedPorcelain, MetalMultiple or single missing teethExtremely stableExpensive, surgical procedure required

 

Why Replacing Missing Teeth is Important

If you’re missing a tooth, you would think it’s merely an aesthetic concern that affects your smile. While the cosmetic impact is undeniable, the reasons for addressing missing teeth extend far beyond appearance. 

1. Aesthetics and Confidence

A gap in your smile can make you self-conscious, causing you to avoid smiling or speaking in public. Teeth bridges restore the aesthetics of your mouth, giving you back your confident smile.

2. Speech and Function

Missing teeth can distort the way you speak, making pronouncing certain words or sounds difficult. It can also hamper your ability to chew food properly, leading to digestive issues over time.

3. Preventing Other Dental Issues

A single missing tooth could seem small, but it can serve as a domino that sets off a series of oral health problems. This is how:

Shift of Remaining TeethDecay and Gum DiseaseBone Loss in Jaw
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Uneven bite
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
  • Tooth decay
  • Gums become more susceptible to disease.
  • Bacterial growth.
  • Changed face shape.
  • More aged appearance. 

 

Common Causes for Needing a Teeth Bridge

A teeth bridge is an effective solution for various situations that result in tooth loss. But what are the common causes that lead you to consider this dental restoration? Let’s dig deeper into the reasons.

 

1. Teeth Decay

Poor oral hygiene, excessive consumption of sugary foods, and even certain medications can lead to cavities. If left untreated, these cavities can eat away at the tooth structure, resulting in tooth loss.

Benefits of a Bridge:  

  • Long-term solution.
  • Provides a structure to improve your bite and oral function.

 

2. Gum Disease

Inflammation and infection of the gums can weaken the structures that hold your teeth in place, leading to their eventual loss.

Benefit of a Bridge: 

  • Restores function and appearance after tooth loss. 

 

3. Injury or Trauma

Your teeth may tragically be severely damaged or knocked out due to sports-related injuries, falls, or other types of trauma.

Benefit of a Bridge: 

  • A quick and effective solution that restores the teeth’ appearance and functionality.

 

4. Age-Related Tooth Loss

Our teeth naturally wear down as we age, and the risk for oral health issues, including tooth loss, increases. Age-related factors can include reduced saliva production, medication side effects, or a lifetime of wear and tear.

Benefits of a Bridge:

  • For older adults, a dental bridge can replace missing teeth.
  • Improve the ability to speak clearly and eat effectively.

 

5. Genetic Factors

Some people are genetically predisposed to tooth loss due to weak tooth structures or hereditary conditions that affect oral health.

Benefits of a Bridge: 

  • Provide a durable, long-lasting solution for those genetically predisposed to tooth loss.
  • Effectively restores function and appearance.

 

Cost Considerations in Canada

Navigating dental care in Canada can be challenging, especially considering potentially pricey procedures like teeth bridges. Below, we break down some key cost considerations to keep in mind.

Average Cost of a Dental Bridge in Canada

TDot Dental shares in an article that the dental bridge cost in Canada can vary depending on several factors but generally ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per pontic or fake tooth. This range does not include additional costs such as consultations, X-rays, or associated procedures like extractions or root canals.

Factors Affecting the Price

Factor 
MaterialPorcelain and ceramic bridges often offer the best natural look but can be more expensive than metal alloy bridges.
Number of Missing TeethThe more teeth you need to replace, the higher your overall cost. This can also involve additional appointments for fittings and adjustments.
Geographic LocationDepending on where you live in Canada, prices can differ. Generally, larger cities or regions with a higher cost of living can charge more for dental procedures.
Insurance CoverageMany dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of the cost of a dental bridge. Yet, the extent of the coverage can vary widely, so it’s essential to check the specifics of your policy.

 

Tips to Reduce Costs

  • Check for Insurance Coverage

Always consult your insurance provider to determine what portion of the cost can be covered. Some insurance plans can pay for 50% or more of the procedure.

  • Compare Prices Among Dental Clinics

Price discrepancies can be substantial, and you could find a better deal just by shopping around.

  • Look for Discounted Services

Dental schools often provide services at a reduced rate as part of the educational process for their students. You have a reliable yet affordable choice because professional dentists monitor the work while students do it.

 

Alternatives to Teeth Bridges

Consider alternative treatments to determine the right fit for your oral health needs and lifestyle. Below are some alternatives to teeth bridges:

 

Dental Implants

Dental implants involve surgically placing a titanium post into the jawbone, which is an artificial root. A crown is attached to this post, offering a durable and natural-looking replacement for a missing tooth.

ProsCons
  • More stable
  • Long-lasting
  • Preserves jawbone
  • Functions like a natural tooth.
  • Expensive
  • Requires surgical procedure 
  • Longer treatment time

 

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are removable devices that contain one or more false teeth. They are held in place by clips attaching to your natural teeth to easily remove them for cleaning or sleeping.

ProsCons
  • Less invasive
  • Cheaper
  • quicker to make and fit
  • Less stable
  • Can cause discomfort
  • Can interfere with speech and eating
  • Requires regular cleaning and maintenance.

No Treatment

Leaving a gap where a tooth is missing can lead to a cascade of dental issues, including those discussed earlier, like teeth misalignment and jawbone deterioration.

ProsCons
  • Cost-effective in the short term.
  • No surgical or dental procedures are required.
  • Risky for overall oral health.
  • Can lead to more expensive treatments later.
  • Affects aesthetics, speech, and functionality.

 

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Take the Next Step: Invest in Your Oral Health  

A dental bridge stands out as a tried-and-true method for tackling the problem of missing teeth. Your oral health is a long-term investment. Don’t let missing teeth derail your quality of life. Speak with us at Westgate Dental Centre to explore the leading options for your teeth bridge and other dental services tailored to your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

FAQs

The cost of a dental crown can vary depending on the material used and the complexity of the procedure. According to Dr. Sayeh Hadianfar and Dr. Henry Hackney, the cost can range from $800 to $2,500 per crown. It’s best to consult your dentist for an accurate quote.

If your teeth are misaligned, you need orthodontic treatment before getting a dental bridge. Proper alignment can ensure that the bridge fits well and functions correctly, so consult an orthodontist and a dentist for a comprehensive treatment plan.

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