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Supporting a Dental Bridge with Dental Implants vs. Crowns

By William Stofer on September 22, 2015


A dental bridge being secured by dental implantsThere really is nothing that impacts the health, function, or beauty of the smile as much as adult tooth loss. Understandably, when tooth loss has occurred, patients are eager to learn about their treatment options for correcting this problem. At Dental Solutions, our dentists offer patients an array of tooth loss treatment options. For the loss of a single tooth or small set of teeth, the most common solution is a dental bridge. Dental bridges fill in a gap of missing teeth with a single restoration that is designed to replicate the series of missing teeth. When patients undergo dental bridge treatment, they are able to choose whether they would like a traditional dental bridge, which is secured by dental crowns, or an implant-supported bridge. We examine the pros and cons of implant vs. crown-supported dental bridges to assist our Warsaw patients in determining which option is the best for their unique situation.

Implant-supported Dental Bridge

An implant-supported dental bridge is one that is anchored to surgically placed dental implants. Through a multi-step procedure, Dr. William Stofer places small titanium screws into the jaw where they will fuse with the jawbone. These implants are capped off by metal abutments that can then be used to secure a dental bridge. Many patients prefer an implant-supported bridge to a traditional dental bridge, but it is important to consider the pros and cons of this treatment option.

  • Pros: An implant-supported bridge offers more security than a traditional dental bridge, and it does not affect the health or structure of the adjacent teeth. Because dental implants mimic tooth roots, an implant-supported bridge feels and functions just like the natural teeth. Another major benefit of an implant-supported bridge is that it stimulates the jawbone, so it can help patients avoid atrophy, which is a common side effect of tooth loss.
  • Cons: The only drawback to an implant-supported bridge is the time and cost of treatment. It can take six to 12 months for dental implant treatment to be complete. Because of the multiple procedures that are required, dental implant treatment is also significantly more expensive than a traditional dental bridge.

There is a lot to consider regarding dental implant treatment, but for patients who are ideal candidates, an implant-supported bridge is well worth the investment.

Crown-supported Dental Bridge

A traditional dental bridge is one that is supported by dental crowns. Dr. Stofer or Dr. Hemphill will reshape the two teeth on either side of the gap of the missing teeth and cap them off with dental crowns. These crowns will then be used to anchor the pontic piece, which is the section of the bridge that resembles the missing teeth. As with an implant-supported bridge, there are both pros and cons to consider when it comes to a crown-supported bridge.

  • Pros: The major advantages of a traditional dental bridge are that a crown-supported bridge can typically be placed within two dental appointments and is a more affordable treatment option than implant-supported bridges.
  • Cons: While a crown-supported bridge does offer strength and security, it is not as stable as an implant-supported bridge. Additionally, a crown-supported bridge does not address the loss of the tooth roots and fails to stimulate the jawbone. As a result, the jawbone is likely to weaken over time, and this may affect the structure of the mouth.

Ultimately, a crown-supported dental crown does improve the strength, function, and beauty of the smile, and is an excellent treatment option for patients who are not good candidates for dental implant treatment or for those who prefer a less invasive treatment option.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’ve experienced adult tooth loss and are looking to rebuild your smile, our dentists can help. At Dental Solutions, we offer a complete range of restorative dentistry treatments that can improve the strength and beauty of your smile. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bill Stofer or Dr. Jason Hemphill at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!

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