Bridges are by far the most common method of replacing lost teeth. While there are more advanced methods available in modern dentistry the cost of those methods doesn’t always make them a viable alternative.
Even bridges have a range of costs associated with them, and it all comes down to the materials used. We like to use zirconia bridges at our New Albany office because of their strength, longevity, and lifelike look. But what about the other materials available – does it really matter what your dental bridge is made of?
What Is A Dental Bridge?
When you lose a tooth we use a bridge to replace it securely and affordably. Bridges consist of a false tooth attached to two abutment teeth on either side of it. The abutment teeth are crowns that attach to the neighboring teeth, giving it a permanent and tough base.
Materials used for bridges vary differently in their strength, appearance, and life expectancy. We don’t want to offer our patients anything but the best, but we also think a well-informed patient is the best kind.
So what’s so great about the different kinds of dental bridge materials?
How About A Golden Smile?
Bridges and crowns have been made from gold for a long time, simply because of how great it works. It’s a tough metal that can take a lot of force, and it’s very biocompatible so it doesn’t irritate your teeth or gums.
But no one really wants to show off gold teeth anymore, and with good reason: there’s a lot of stigma associated with that look! There’s also the issue of temperature sensitivity – gold conducts heat and cold really well! Many patients end up suffering from pain when eating due to gold crowns and bridges.
Porcelain: The Most Common Solution
Dental porcelain, like the kind used to craft crowns and veneers, is also the most common material for bridges as well. Porcelain can be made to match the color of your teeth and blend perfectly with your smile – most people won’t notice a difference at all.
Porcelain is ideal for front-of-the-mouth restorations, but it isn’t without its drawbacks. It needs to be a bit thicker than gold to get the same stability, so that means we’re removing more of your natural tooth that, in many cases, is still healthy. It’s also prone to cracks, chips, and fractures that require total replacement – we can’t just repair a porcelain bridge!
A Metal Base And A Porcelain Face?
For parts of the mouth that take a lot of force but still need to look good there’s metal (usually gold or amalgam) fused to porcelain. This gives you a tough, long-lasting anchor for your bridge while still giving some of the aesthetic benefits of porcelain.
The drawbacks to the metal-fused-to-porcelain bridge is obvious if you’ve ever seen one: they usually leave a ring of metal at the base of the tooth. It’s pretty noticeable, and the metal underneath the porcelain also makes the bridge less natural looking.
Zirconia: The State-Of-The-Art In Bridges
Zirconia is an amazing ceramic-like product made from metal. It’s more translucent than ceramic, just as tough as gold, and is precisely engineered for a totally natural look. If you need a bridge and want the best possible material you can get then there’s nothing like zirconia.
Because it’s so tough there’s also less need for tooth preparation. When we build a zirconia crown for you we’re only removing the bare minimum of healthy tooth, which is always our treatment goal. Zirconia looks amazing, but there’s nothing that can substitute for the material of a natural tooth!
Crowns and bridges made from zirconia can last far longer than ceramic crowns, which is mainly due to their strength, resistance to chipping, and resistance to staining. Like those other methods there are drawbacks, but they’re not nearly as serious as the other materials.
- Zirconia is more expensive
- The chewing surfaces of zirconia crowns occasionally become rough, making them a risk for neighboring teeth.
Which Material Would You Choose?
We strongly recommend zirconia bridges to all our patients, but the choice is always up to you. Whether you want a different material to save money or simply don’t need a zirconia bridge to get the results that are best for you, we’ll make sure you’re informed and ready to find the perfect solution for your tooth replacement needs.
If you want to find out more about what we can do for you at New Albany Implants don’t hesitate to call us today! You can reach our office at (888) 469-3982 or you can request an appointment online. We hope to see you soon!