Dental bridges are a popular method of replacing missing teeth, especially when you have several in a row that have fallen out or been lost in some other way. However, it might surprise you to learn that if you're interested in a dental bridge, your dentist will likely want you to get a couple of dental implants, too. Here's why this is a common thing and how dental bridges and implants work together to give you the best experience.

How Bridges Work

Dental bridges, as the name implies, bridge the gap between existing teeth. Traditionally, dental bridges were mounted on each side to real teeth that the patient still had. However, this method is no longer used as often because it can put stress on real teeth and cause problems for them further down the road. Instead, dental implants are typically used.

Mounting the Bridge

Dental implants can be easily combined with dental bridges in a way that helps to extend the life of the bridge.

Dental bridges are now commonly mounted on implants because they tend to be tougher than real teeth. Since the crown of the implant is artificial, and the base underneath it is made of extremely strong titanium, it's very hard for a dental implant to be damaged or pushed out of position. In comparison, real teeth can sometimes be forced out of position if too much strain and pressure is placed on them over a long period of time. So by using dental implants, you're likely to have a dental bridge for much longer and without any additional complications down the road. 

What to Expect

Getting a bridge with dental implants is no big deal. Your dentist will examine your mouth and medical records to determine if you're a good candidate to start. From there, they'll take the measurements they need in order to place an order for your dental bridge.

Once the order is complete, you'll be brought in to put the dental implants in place. This is done while you're under general anesthesia for your comfort. Once they're in position, you'll go home and wait until they're fully healed and fused with your jaw bone. This can take some time, so your dentist can give you a time table based on your personal health.

Once the dental implants have been fully adapted, it's time to put the crowns and dental bridge on top. This is performed without anesthesia and shouldn't cause you any discomfort, since everything is going on above the gum level. With the bridge in place, you'll be ready to go home with a new set of shining teeth.