Dental Bridges: The Solution to Missing Teeth

Dental Bridges: The Solution to Missing Teeth

Mar 01, 2021

Countless adults have missing teeth. Although it’s nothing to be ashamed of, missing teeth can have many negative impacts. In addition to altering your smile, missing teeth can also affect your oral health.

Regardless of the number of teeth you are missing, we can provide quality dental bridges to bridge those gaps. Bridges are one of the most popular treatments within restorative dentistry.

What Are Dental Bridges?

As the name suggests, dental bridges “bridge the gap” left behind from a missing tooth, therefore restoring your smile to its natural beauty.

Bridges have evolved over the years. Nowadays, they are so realistic that it’s difficult to distinguish them from your natural teeth once they are bonded on. Dental bridges restore the appearance of your smile and the function of your teeth. With dental bridges, you will be able to avoid speech problems, shifting teeth, and other issues that come with missing teeth.

Dental bridges are made of two parts:

  • Pontic – This is a false tooth that fills the gap and is attached to a crown on either side.
  • Crowns – There are typically either one or two crowns attached to the pontic and bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. The teeth bonded with crowns are referred to as abutment teeth, and they serve as anchors for the bridge.

Types of Dental Bridges

As mentioned earlier, there are several different types of dental bridges, such as:

  • Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges are the most common. They are comprised of a false tooth (pontic) and crowns attached to it on both sides.

These bridges are ideal for anyone who has healthy and strong teeth on both sides of the gap. This type of dental bridge is appropriate for replacing molars since they are sturdy. Your natural teeth that are adjacent to the gap have to be prepared for the crown. This means that some of the enamel will be shaved off to create room for the crown to fit.

Remember that your enamel cannot grow back, meaning that this procedure is irreversible.

  • Maryland Bridges

This is a conservative alternative to conventional bridges. Maryland Bridges are made of a false tooth (pontic) attached to a porcelain or metal framework instead of a crown. The framework is attached to the back of your teeth. This means that the adjacent teeth don’t have to be filed down since there are no crowns.

However, Maryland bridges aren’t a good solution for anyone who needs to replace their back teeth, as these bridges aren’t strong enough to withstand the chewing force.

  • Cantilever Bridges

Another tooth replacement option is cantilever bridges. They are similar to conventional bridges, but instead of having two crowns attached to the pontic, they only have one.

This tooth bridge can work for you if you want to replace a missing tooth with only one natural tooth adjacent to the gap.

The downside is that since the tooth bridge is supported by only one crown, it may act as a lever. If you would like to get a cantilever bridge, our dentist can discuss any concerns you may have about this treatment option.

  • Implant-Supported Bridges

When you have lost several teeth, an implant-supported bridge may be ideal. Implant-supported bridges are supported by dental implants, making it a more stable option. They don’t rely on abutment teeth or frameworks like with the other types of dental bridges.

Our dentist near you will place the implant on your jawbone, and then the bridge will be attached to the implant. A longer healing time may be required with implant-supported bridges.

How to Care for Dental Bridges

For your bridge to last as long as it should, it’s crucial to maintain proper oral care practices, such as brushing and flossing every day. Doing so will help lessen your chances of getting gum disease and tooth decay.

If you would like to learn more about dental bridges or schedule an appointment, contact our dentist near you at Lexington Dental Group to set up a consultation. We look forward to seeing you here soon.

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