Roughly 50% of Americans live with at least one missing tooth, making the market for dental prostheses relatively large. Dental bridges are one of the most reliable solutions for those looking to restore their smile.
There are various types of dental bridges, each offering unique benefits and drawbacks. Understanding the different types of bridges dental professionals offer can help you determine the best bridge option for your needs.
In this blog on the types of bridges for teeth, we’ll take a closer look at the kinds of dental bridges your dentist may recommend. With the help of an experienced dentist, you can rest easy knowing that the right bridge is in place and your dental health is sound.
What Are Dental Bridges?
So, what are dental bridges? Dental bridges are a type of dental prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. They provide a natural-looking appearance without invasive surgical interventions, such as implants.
In most cases, the false teeth suspend from the existing teeth on either side, called an abutment tooth, and act as the prosthesis’s anchors. This ensures that the bridge is secure. A dental bridge typically comprises two crowns for the abutment teeth as well as one or more false teeth placed in the missing tooth’s space.
Why Get Dental Bridges?
When it comes to restoring your smile, your dentist will work with you to determine the best course of action for your particular situation. Some of the most common reasons for getting a bridge include the following:
- Replacing a missing tooth so you can chew more comfortably and speak more clearly
- Preventing surrounding teeth from shifting out of place and causing discomfort
- Restoring the natural look and feel of your smile
- Providing structural integrity to the mouth and giving it added strength
How Strong Are Dental Bridges?
Generally speaking, bridges are very strong and can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
However, it’s important to note that even the strongest bridge will loosen over time due to regular wear and tear or chewing habits, so you’ll need to keep up with regular checkups and cleanings. Additionally, some preexisting conditions or lifestyle habits may shorten the bridge’s lifespan – your dentist can explain this in detail during your treatment.
What Are The 4 Types Of Dental Bridges?
There are several different types of bridges dental professionals can choose from when treating patients with missing teeth. Each type of bridge has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to discuss all available options with your dentist before deciding on one. Dentists use many kinds of dental bridges: traditional, cantilever, implant-supported, and Maryland (resin-bonded).
1. Traditional Dental Bridge
The first of the tooth bridge options is known as a traditional bridge. It consists of two or more crowns placed on the abutment teeth and an artificial replacement in between. A traditional bridge needs at least one natural anchor tooth on either side of the gap to remain secure and intact.
Traditional bridges are the most commonly used type of dental bridge and often cost less than other options. However, the downside is that the adjacent teeth must attach to the bridge, which can weaken them over time. Additionally, if the anchor teeth become decayed or damaged, they may need to be extracted, leading to more serious dental problems.
2. Cantilever Bridge
Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges, but instead of relying on two anchor teeth, they only require one. This makes them a good option for filling gaps in areas that don’t have two natural anchor teeth. A cantilever bridge works by anchoring to one tooth and then extending outward toward the gap.
Cantilever bridges offer a few advantages, such as requiring less tooth alteration and being less invasive. However, they’re generally not recommended in areas that experience significant stress from chewing since this can cause damage to the bridge.
3. Implant-Supported Bridge
A third type of dental bridge is an implant bridge. An implant-supported bridge uses dental implants to attach a bridge to the jawbone, providing a strong foundation for the restoration. This option looks and feels natural as it doesn’t rely on other teeth for support.
Implants are a common option for patients with enough bone tissue to support them and a healthy oral environment. This type of bridge lasts longer than traditional bridges since it’s not subject to wear and tear from chewing. However, the procedure requires more time and money due to the need for multiple implant placements.
4. Maryland Bridge
Called a “Maryland bridge” or “resin-bonded bridge,” this type of dental restoration is more affordable than an implant-supported bridge and requires less placement time. This is because it goes toward the front of your mouth, where teeth don’t experience much force from chewing.
The Maryland bridge is made from a metal or porcelain framework that fits over existing teeth. The bridge is then “bonded” to the teeth with resin. However, due to the minimal force it can withstand, it isn’t suitable for all cases and will need to be replaced over time.
Ultimately, determining which dental bridge is best is a task for your dentist.
What To Consider Before Getting A Dental Bridge
Dental bridges could be a convenient and cost-effective option if you’re looking for a solution to replace one or more missing teeth. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you work with your dentist:
- Cost: Different types of dental bridges require different levels of investment. Your dentist will discuss your payment options with you before making any decisions.
- Durability: Some types of bridges are more durable than others. Composite and Maryland bridges may eventually need replacement, while an implant-supported bridge can last many years with proper care.
- Maintenance: Even a top dental bridge will require regular brushing and flossing to keep them in good shape. If you decide on a fixed bridge, your dentist will provide specific instructions on how to take care of it.
- Aesthetics: If you want your bridge to look as natural as possible, consider an implant-supported bridge. It will blend in seamlessly with your existing teeth and be undetectable to others.
- Comfort: Some bridges may feel more comfortable than others, depending on the type of bridge and the materials used. Your dentist can discuss with you which options are best suited for your needs.
Learn More About The Types of Dental Bridges At Northside Dental Co
Dental bridges offer a great way to replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. Not only can the right bridge improve your oral health, but it can also give you back your confidence.
At Northside Dental Co, we have several types of dental bridges available to help meet our patients’ needs. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn more about dental bridges — or any of our other services.
We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!