Dental bridges serve both functional and cosmetic purposes
Missing teeth can significantly impact your smile and ability to chew and speak properly. If injury, extensive tooth decay, or some other dental issue has left you with a gap between your teeth, you may want to consider getting a dental bridge. While dental bridges are a great treatment option for missing teeth, they are not for everyone. Here is all you need to learn about dental bridges.
What are dental bridges?
If you have missing teeth because of any of the reasons mentioned above, your dentist can close or bridge the gaps in your smile using dental bridges. A dental bridge replaces one or more missing teeth with false teeth. Dental bridges use one or more real/abutment teeth on either side of the gap to hold the false teeth in place.
Each false tooth in a dental bridge is called a “pontic”. Pontics can be made from a variety of materials, but they are commonly made from porcelain as it most closely resembles the appearance of natural teeth.
When is a dental bridge required?
A person may need a bridge if:
- A tooth is extensively decayed and falls out
- Infection or decay is so bad and deep within a tooth that a filling or root canal will not work
- An injury has damaged the tooth beyond repair
Types of dental bridges
These are the most commonly used bridges. These bridges are used when the person has healthy natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth or gap. The bridge consists of one or more false teeth held in place by two natural teeth that are given a crown to support the false teeth between them. These are known as abutment teeth.
These bridges are attached to an abutment tooth on only one side. These bridges are used when natural teeth are present only on one side of the missing teeth.
Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, this dental bridge is often used for replacing the front teeth. Maryland bridges use porcelain or mental bands to attach a pontic tooth to the back of the adjacent abutment teeth. The benefit of using these bridges over traditional bridges is that the dentist does not have to remove enamel off the adjacent teeth because this bridge is not held in place by crowns. However, these bridges are not as durable as the traditional ones.
Implant supported bridges
These bridges are like regular bridges, but the only difference is that they are not supported by natural teeth but by dental implants. The dentist places one dental implant for each missing tooth to hold the dental bridge in place.
What can a dental bridge do for you?
Missing teeth can affect you in numerous ways. A dental bridge can help overcome most of these problems. It can:
- Maintain your facial appearance, shape, and features
- restore your smile
- restore your ability to chew, and your speech and pronunciation
- prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of the correct position
- your bite will come better than ever
While dental bridges can help overcome many problems caused by missing teeth, only your dentist can advise if they are the best option for you. For example, if only one tooth is missing, an implant may be a better option. It will last a lifetime and prevent degradation of jawbone.
In the nutshell, bridges are a cost-effective treatment option for cases of missing teeth where the adjacent teeth are strong and healthy. However, in many cases, implants or crown with root canal can be a better option. It is best to let your dentist decide what treatment will work best for you.
Contact us today to see if a bridge is right for you.