Ever wish you could replace a missing tooth without having to wear dentures? With cosmetic bridges, you can do just that while preserving a more natural-looking smile.
This type of dental installation literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Typically, a bridge is made up of two crowns that is fitted for the teeth on either side of the gap.
It serves as an anchor for the false tooth or teeth that will fill the gap or gaps in between. The anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and the false teeth in between are called pontics, which can be made out of different materials like porcelain, alloys, gold or a combination of other materials.
Natural teeth or implants support dental bridges, which is why this type of restoration is more apt for patients with only a few missing teeth to replace. Dental bridges are very beneficial not only for cosmetic reasons.
They restore your ability to speak properly and to chew food more thoroughly as well as maintain the shape of the face. Additionally, they help distribute the force of your bite properly, preventing stress and damage to the remaining teeth.
Dental bridges also prevent your remaining teeth from drifting out of position over time.
Different Types of Dental Bridges
There are three main types of dental bridges, each with its own purpose. Traditional bridges with abutment teeth and a pontic in between are made for gaps with teeth on either side of the missing tooth.
These are commonly made out of porcelain fused either with ceramics or metal. Cantilever bridges on the other hand are used when adjacent teeth are available on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Maryland bonded bridges, meanwhile, are supported by a metal framework with metal wings on either side. These wings are then bonded to the existing teeth.
Dental bridges can last between five and 15 years or even longer, provided that you follow good oral hygiene and have regular prophylaxis. Contrary to what people may believe, dental bridges make eating easier, as replacing the missing teeth distributes the force of your bite evenly between the newly replaced teeth.
To maximize the life of your dental bridge, it is important to follow proper oral hygiene so that your remaining teeth don’t weaken and cause it to fall out. Visiting your dentist regularly also helps diagnose problems at the onset, preventing them from getting worse over time.