What is a dental bridge?
Do you have some missing teeth? Well, with some dental bridges, your dentist can bridge – 0r close the gaps in your smile. A dental bridge is a false tooth (also known as a pontic). It is held in place by abutment teeth on either side of the gap. Yes, pontics can be made from various materials like gold for instance, but in many cases, they are made from porcelain to aesthetically blend with your natural teeth.
Types of dental bridges
There are four major types of dental bridges:
1. Implant-supported dental bridge
Just as the name implies, implant-supported bridges do not use frameworks or crowns, but dental implants. An implant is surgically placed for every missing tooth. These implants position your bridge properly and keep it in place. If it isn’t possible to place one implant per missing tooth, then a pontic may be suspended between two implant-supported crowns.
The implant-supported bridge is considered to be the most stable and strongest system, and commonly requires two surgeries:
- The first surgery is done to embed the implants in the jawbone
- The second is done to place the bridge
This procedure takes several months to complete.
2. Maryland dental bridge
Maryland dental bridge employs two natural abutment teeth. One bridge is placed on each side of the gap. It is important to note that a Maryland bridge does not use dental crowns on the abutment teeth. Rather, it uses a porcelain or metal framework that is bonded onto the backs of the abutment teeth.
Just like a conventional bridge, a Maryland bridge is used only when you have a natural tooth on each side of the gap caused by the missing tooth or teeth.
It is similar to a traditional bridge. The pontic in this kind of bridge is maintained by a dental crown. The dental crown is cemented to a single abutment tooth. To be able to use the cantilever dental bridge, you need just a single natural tooth next to the missing tooth gap.
4. Traditional dental bridge
This is made up of a false tooth held in place by dental crowns that have been cemented onto the abutment teeth. A traditional dental bridge is the most common type of dental bridge in use. It is especially used by individuals who have natural teeth on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth.
What determines the cost of a dental bridge?
Several variables can affect the cost of a dental bridge. These include:
- The number of teeth needed to fill the gap
- Your geographic location
- Treatments for other dental conditions, like gum disease
- Difficulty or complexity of the placement
- The type of material used: for instance, zirconia, metal alloy covered in resin, or composite resin.
Why do I need a dental bridge?
Having a missing tooth or teeth can affect you in several ways. Those changes can be addressed by a dental bridge, including:
- Speech restoration
- Restoring your smile
- Maintaining the shape of your face
- Restoring the proper chewing ability
- Prevents the misalignment of your remaining teeth
- Readjusts your bite so it can properly distribute the force when you chew
If you are missing a tooth or several teeth, you have a wide range of replacement options to choose from. Dental bridges have many benefits. What’s more, there are many factors you should consider (including cost) before making a decision.