There are three main types of dental bridges:
These involve the creation of a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic placed between them. Traditional bridges are the most commonly used, and are generally made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
Used in cases where there is only one tooth on the side of the missing tooth, these are not very common anymore. Cantilever bridges are not recommended as a replacement for missing back teeth as they can put too much pressure on the support tooth and may damage it.
Also known as a resin-bonded bridge, these are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings on each side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
How are bridges placed?
This process, as well as any alternatives, will be discussed in more depth when you come in for a consultation, but here’s a brief outline of what to expect.
In order to place a dental bridge, we will first place a dental implant, which is a metal (generally titanium) fixture into your jaw. The implant will sit flush with the bone under your gum line. There is a healing process involved in receiving a dental implant. During this process we will have your bridge created. We may request to see you at stages throughout the healing process to assess how you are healing and to see when we can move on to placing the abutment, and eventually the crown on top of these. While this process sounds drastic, it is commonly performed in a dental clinic and provides a large number of benefits. For example, it can prevent bone degeneration, restore aesthetics and, if speech impediments or difficulties chewing food have been discovered post tooth loss, they may help correct or improve these difficulties.
Dental Bridges FAQS
Do dental bridges hurt?
No, the process of having a dental bridge placed should not cause any discomfort because your dentist will administer an anaesthetic before beginning treatment. You may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks after the procedure is complete, although this side effect is temporary and should resolve over time.
Are traditional dental bridges removable?
Traditional dental bridges are held in position by dental crowns. They are cemented to the adjacent teeth for support and are not removable. Traditional bridges are often recommended when there are healthy, natural teeth on either side of the gap caused by a missing tooth.
Are dental bridges safe?
Yes, absolutely. As long as you have your dental bridge placed by a qualified and experienced dental practitioner, the treatment is both safe and effective. If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, we encourage you to come in for a consultation.
How do you take care of a dental bridge?
To care for a dental bridge, maintain a meticulous oral hygiene routine by brushing it with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily and flossing beneath and around it with floss threaders or superfloss to prevent plaque buildup. Use antimicrobial mouthwash as recommended and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings to monitor the bridge’s condition and address any concerns. Avoid hard or sticky foods, wear a night guard if you grind your teeth, and promptly seek professional assistance if you notice any changes or discomfort with the bridge. By practicing good oral hygiene, protecting the bridge from damage, and maintaining overall oral health, you can ensure its durability and functionality over the long term.
What alternatives exist besides a dental bridge?
Alternatives to dental bridges include dental implants, which offer a durable and long-lasting solution without affecting adjacent teeth; partial dentures, which are removable appliances for replacing missing teeth but may require more maintenance; resin-bonded bridges (Maryland bridges) for replacing front teeth with minimal alteration of adjacent teeth; orthodontic treatment to close gaps; or the choice to leave the gap untreated, although this may lead to functional and aesthetic issues over time. The most suitable alternative depends on factors like the number of missing teeth, oral health, budget, and personal preferences, and it’s best determined through consultation with a dental professional.
What types of bridges are there?
Dental bridges come in several types, including traditional bridges, which anchor artificial teeth between two natural teeth; cantilever bridges, which use one adjacent natural tooth for support; Maryland bridges, or resin-bonded bridges, which attach an artificial tooth to the back of adjacent teeth with minimal alteration; implant-supported bridges, which are anchored to dental implants surgically placed in the jawbone; and removable bridges, or partial dentures, which are removable appliances for replacing missing teeth. The choice of bridge type depends on factors like the location of missing teeth, the condition of adjacent teeth, budget, and personal preferences and should be determined through consultation with a dental professional to best address individual needs.