Dental Bridges: Crown-Supported or Implant-Supported? By on July 31, 2014

An older couple smiling outdoorsDr. Wayne Myles has helped countless patients throughout the greater Reston area who are missing teeth. One of the ways he's done this is through the use of dental bridges, which are a great option for people missing a few teeth in a row. A number of patients have asked about implant-supported dental bridges and crown-supported dental bridges, so let's take this opportunity to consider both.

About Dental Bridges

First things first, let's discuss dental bridges.

Dental bridges are appliances that are used to span the gap that is left behind when a person is missing teeth. This restores the appearance as well as the overall bite strength of a person's teeth.

Traditional dental bridges are removable and are held in place by bracing around the teeth adjacent to the tooth gap. The types of dental bridges we're looking at (implant-supported and crown-supported) are fixed and specially held in place by other means.

Implant Dentistry for Dental Bridge Support

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into a person's jawbone and gum tissue. When in place, dental implants offer a level of strength and stability that is comparable to natural tooth roots. The number of dental implants required to support a dental bridge will depend on the extent of the tooth loss that is experienced.

Ideal Candidates for Implant-Supported Dental Bridges

The best candidates for implant-supported dental bridges are people who are in good overall health and have sufficient jawbone and gum density in the area of the tooth gap. Good overall health is necessary since oral surgery is required to set the implants in place; patients who suffer from serious health problems will generally be poor candidates for any sort of surgical procedure.

In addition to the above, the dental implants process requires a months-long healing period. This ensures that the dental implants fuse with the living tissues of the mouth, It's important that patients have realistic expectations about the amount of time required for full recovery.

Dental Crowns for Bridge Support

Dental crowns are caps that fit over teeth in order to restore their strength and appearance. They can also be used to support a dental bridge as long as a patient has teeth bookending the tooth gap. In these instances, a special dental dental bridge is crafted that has crowns attached on each side of the appliance. The teeth that bookend the tooth gap are capped by these dental crowns to hold the dental bridge stable.

Ideal Candidates for Crown-Supported Dental Bridges

The best candidates for crown-supported dental bridges are people who have teeth adjacent to a tooth gap that are viable for receiving a dental crown. Realistic expectations of treatment are important to consider as well given the nature of the procedure.

Which option is right for me?

Though more invasive, implant-supported dental bridges tend to be more ideal since the dental implants are very sturdy and prevent gum recession and bone loss in the tooth gap. That said, the duration of treatment can be a downside for many patients.

Crown-supported dental bridges take less time to craft and the results are generally good. However, the dental crowns will require the removal of some tooth structure on your remaining teeth to place. In addition, this option will not address the bone loss and gum recession as dental implants would.

During your consultation, we will be able to go over all of these matters in much greater detail and help you make the best decisions for your needs.

Learn More About Advanced Dental Care

To learn more about dental bridges and your many options to consider when it comes to missing teeth, we encourage you to contact our advanced dental care center today. Dr. Wayne Myles looks forward to your visit and helping you make the best choices with regard to your dental health and wellness.

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Reston cosmetic dentist Wayne Myles, DDS

Smiles by Myles Wayne Myles, DDS

Welcome to Smiles by Myles, a premier dental practice located in Reston, VA. Our skilled team is led by cosmetic dentist Wayne Myles, DDS. His affiliations include: 

  • Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
  • International Association of Comprehensive Aesthetics

Request an appointment by filling out our online form or by calling (703) 925-0800. Book a free Cosmetic Virtual Consult.

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