How many teeth can be in a bridge? - Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry

How many teeth can be in a bridge?

infographic of human in dental bridge on white background

Dental bridges are a popular dental restoration option used to replace missing teeth. They are designed to bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits. A dental bridge consists of artificial teeth, known as pontics, which are anchored in place by dental crowns attached to the neighboring natural teeth or dental implants.

Dental bridges are commonly used when a patient has lost a tooth or multiple teeth. They help restore the ability to chew and speak properly, maintain proper alignment of the surrounding teeth, and prevent shifting and misalignment. Dental bridges can also enhance the appearance of the smile by filling in gaps and restoring a natural, complete look.

The decision to use a dental bridge is typically made after a comprehensive dental examination and discussion with the dentist. Factors such as the location and number of missing teeth, overall oral health, and patient preferences are taken into account. Dental bridges offer a reliable and long-lasting solution for tooth replacement, improving both the functionality and aesthetics of the smile.

How many teeth are needed for a dental bridge?

A traditional dental bridge involves at least three crowns. Two crowns are placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth, and these act as the ‘anchors’ for the bridge. A false tooth (or teeth), known as a pontic, is attached in the middle to replace the missing tooth (or teeth).

So, for a traditional bridge, you’d need at least three teeth involved – the two anchor teeth and at least one missing tooth that you’re trying to replace.

However, the number of teeth needed can vary depending on the type of dental bridge and the number of teeth you are trying to replace. For instance, a cantilever bridge only needs one adjacent tooth to the missing tooth. In the case of an implant-supported bridge, dental implants are used instead of natural teeth as anchors, which is an option when several adjacent teeth are missing.

 

Dental bridges or implants: what is better?

Choosing between dental bridges and implants can depend on various factors, including your oral health, the number of teeth you need to replace, your budget, and your personal preference. Both options have their advantages and can be effectively applied at Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry.

Dental implants are often seen as the more advanced and beneficial solution. They’re a more permanent solution as they replace both the root and the crown of the tooth, providing a standalone structure that doesn’t rely on surrounding teeth for support. This helps to preserve the health of adjacent teeth. Implants are designed to integrate with your jawbone, which can help maintain bone health. When it comes to longevity, dental implants can last for decades with proper care, potentially making them a cost-effective choice over the long term.

Dental bridges, on the other hand, are a quicker solution that require fewer visits to the dentist and a shorter healing time. They are typically less expensive upfront than dental implants. However, they may need to be replaced or repaired every 5 to 15 years, depending on care and oral hygiene, so the cost over time can add up. Bridges rely on adjacent teeth for support, which means those teeth must be reshaped and can become weaker over time.

At Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry, our team will conduct a thorough examination and discuss your personal goals and circumstances to help you decide between dental bridges and implants. We strive to offer solutions that not only meet your immediate needs but also provide the best long-term results for your oral health and financial situation.

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