Dental Bridges: The Good, the Bad, and the Alternative

dental bridge illustrationWhen you lose a tooth, your immediate concern should be how to replace it so you can restore you mouth’s function (as well as your smile’s appearance). For many people, the solution lies in custom-built dental bridges, which span the gaps left by missing teeth to help rebuild incomplete smiles. However, before deciding if a dental bridge is right for you, we’ll thoroughly discuss the pro’s and con’s of the prosthetic, and whether or not you’d benefit more from the alternative—dental implants.

The Good

Replacing your lost teeth helps restore your mouth’s ability to fully absorb the pressure your jaw generates when you bite and chew. Made to follow the contour of your dental ridge, a bridge fits snugly into the empty space of your missing teeth, providing support for your remaining teeth while reestablishing your confidence in your smile.

The Bad

To remain in place, a dental bridge relies on the healthy teeth that border the gap in your smile. Referred to as abutment teeth, they’re modified to accommodate the crowns attached to either side of the bridge. While abutment teeth make the dental bridge sturdy, the process involves sculpting away healthy tooth structure that won’t grow back, making your healthy teeth susceptible to damage or decay.

The Alternative

As an alternative to healthy-tooth modification, we often recommend supporting a dental bridge (or other appropriate prosthesis) to one or more dental implants. Designed to replace lost teeth roots, dental implants are made from titanium, which your jawbone gradually fuses to, and can support your bridge the way roots support your healthy teeth. The number of implants required depends on the severity of your tooth loss, and will be discussed during your initial consultation and evaluation.


At Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry in Houston, TX, Dr. Amy Vlachakis (pronounced Vla-ha-kiss) and her dedicated staff strive to make everyone feel like family, while providing top-notch general, cosmetic, and family dentistry services to patients of all ages. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call our office today at (281) 974-4494. Located in Memorial City Plaza, we proudly serve patients throughout Houston, Memorial City, Bunker Hill, West Beltway, City Center, Hedwig Village, and all surrounding communities.

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Looking for a dentist you can trust? Give us a call today to experience everything Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry has to offer.