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Dental bridges: info and alternatives

What are dental bridges, when are they used and what is the difference compared to veneers and crowns? Here you will find everything you need to know on the topic of dental bridges.

Dental bridge

What are dental bridges?

A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to fill gaps caused by missing teeth. The advantage over removable prothesis is that dental bridges are firmly anchored to the dentition.

The teeth on the left and right of the bridge units (pontic) serve to attach the bridge and are called abutment teeth or anchoring teeth. The adjacent teeth are covered by the crowns so that they can hold the bridge units, which are placed in the gap. In order to apply a dental bridge, the adjacent teeth must be intact and have a strong root.

3-unit dental bridge and 5-unit dental bridge

When are tooth bridges used?

Tooth bridges are used to fill gaps caused by missing teeth. Tooth gaps can, for example, lead to difficulties and impairments when chewing or speaking or cause issues to the entire periodontium. In addition, patients often opt for tooth bridges for aesthetic reasons.

Tooth gaps due to missing teeth can have various causes, such as:

Tooth gap due to caries or inflammation

Tooth decay or inflammation of the periodontium are very common reasons for tooth loss. In the case of tooth decay, the tooth itself is affected and can thus become porous and fragile. In the case of an inflammation of the periodontium, which is called periodontitis in medicine, the teeth become loose or even fall out.

Tooth gap due to external factors

External mechanical forces may also lead to tooth loss. This is the case when teeth are damaged or knocked out during an accident or a fall or while playing contact sports such as boxing.

Tooth gap due to predisposition

Some people simply do not develop one or more teeth, which in medicine is called hypodontia. Reasons for this predisposition can be congenital, hereditary, developmental disorders or other diseases.

Do I need a dental implant or a bridge?

When it comes to dental treatments, it can be difficult to figure out which is best. That’s why it’s crucial to get advice from a specialist dentist and know the differences.

Choose your free appointment now to get advice from a bestsmile dentist in one of our practices.

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Tooth bridges and implants are both dental restorations that require different prerequisites and offer different solutions. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is not attached to the adjacent teeth. Implants are directly inserted into the jaw in order to anchor the replacement tooth on top of it.

Accordingly, dental implants require a surgical intervention and in most cases even bone grafting (bone regeneration). This procedure often extends over a longer period of time and usually makes treatment with dental implants much more time-consuming and expensive than with bridges.

Dental implant

The pros and cons of dental bridges

Pros

  • Long durability
  • Firmly anchored to the dentition
  • No surgery necessary for insertion
  • Restore aesthetics and function of the periodontium

Cons

  • Slicing of adjacent teeth to attach the bridge
  • Removal of enamel can lead to sensitive teeth
  • Susceptible to caries at the crown and bridge margin
  • May lead to overloading of adjacent teeth

What material are dental bridges made of?

Dental bridges consist of several parts: the abutment teeth and the pontic (bridge units). So, for example a 3-unit bridge has two abutment teeth and one pontic. Since the abutment teeth is a crown in most cases, the rest of the dental bridge is also made of the same material.

Just like tooth crowns, dental bridges can be made of all-ceramics, precious metals, plastic or mixed materials*. At bestsmile we exclusively use high-quality ceramics to produce our veneers, crowns and bridges.

Learn more about Veneers

All-ceramic bridges particularly stand out for their excellent aesthetics. The colour perfectly and harmoniously matches your teeth to achieve a particularly natural result.

Dental bridge cost

The prices for dental bridges can vary depending on:

  • Material
  • Initial situation
  • Number of pontics
  • Number of gaps
  • Dentist

At bestsmile, a 3-unit bridge starts at CHF 2,000. Tooth crowns and dental bridges are only available in combination with a bestsmile treatment and can therefore also be paid in convenient monthly instalments.

In Switzerland, the costs for dental bridges are partly covered by the health insurance. Contact your health insurance provider for more information. They will be happy to advise you and tell you which treatments are covered by your insurance plan.

How to clean a dental bridge

The outside of the bridge units (pontics) can be taken care of like natural teeth. But brushing your teeth on a regular basis and good oral hygiene are always crucial. The only difference is that you can’t floss from above because there is no space between the teeth in a dental bridge.

However, in order to prevent bacteria and infections, a dental bridge requires proper cleaning of the spaces between the gums. A special dental floss with a firm end is ideal for cleaning the lower side of the bridge.

Proper care of the dental bridge will reduce the risk of diseases and infections and will increase the durability of the bridge itself. And with good care, a dental bridge lasts an average of 20 years*.

Choose your free appointment now, get professional advice and take your smile to the next level.

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