Dental Bridges 101: An Inside Look Into What They Are and the Different Types Available

Dental Bridges 101: An Inside Look Into What They Are and the Different Types Available

Nov 24, 2021

Unsightly spaces in your smile caused by missing teeth can negatively affect your oral health and self-esteem. One of the quickest ways to get your smile back to its former glory days is by visiting our dentist in Somerset, who offers removable dental bridges.

No longer should you stress over missing teeth when our endodontist near you can replace any number of missing teeth. Dental technology has made it possible for many people to enjoy their new smiles after losing their teeth. Dental bridges are an excellent tooth replacement choice and permanent solution, especially if you don’t fancy partial dentures.

Dental Bridges 101

A dental bridge is designed to close the gap where a missing tooth had been. In other words, it “bridges” the gap. There are four different types, each designed to meet specific needs and to replace several missing teeth. You can use them to meet functional and aesthetic needs.

Dental bridges have two main parts: the false tooth, referred to as the pontic in dental terminology, and two dental crowns. These two crowns are attached to the false tooth, one on either side. The purpose of the crowns is to hold the pontic or false tooth in place.

For a dental bridge to be a permanent solution, it must be cemented onto your existing teeth, which act as anchors. The adjacent teeth are also referred to as abutment teeth. One thing to consider when getting dental bridges is that the abutment teeth must be filed down to create room for the tooth crowns. Your enamel can never grow back, making the procedure irreversible.

Are You the Right Candidate for Dental Bridges?

Almost anyone can reap the benefits of undergoing the dental bridge procedure; however, not everyone can be the ideal candidate. You may be a good candidate if:

  • You have good health (no severe health conditions)
  • You have excellent oral health
  • You have healthy and sturdy adjacent teeth that can hold the dental bridge in place
  • You have excellent oral hygiene

Types of Dental Bridges

You have the following choices when you decide to go down this road:

  • Traditional Bridges

Traditional bridges are the most widely used bridges. They are made of one or more false teeth (pontic) that are attached to two crowns.

For you to utilize this bridge, you will need to have sturdy abutment teeth. These are the go-to option if you need to replace missing back teeth since they can handle the bite force. Typically, they are fashioned from porcelain fused to metal.

  • Cantilever Bridge

This bridge is similar to the traditional bridge with one main difference – it has one crown attached to the pontic instead of two. You can go for this option if you only have one abutment tooth adjacent to the empty socket.

This crown can only be held in place with one crown. Because of this, there is a risk that the bridge can act as a lever and damage the abutment tooth. This concern is something you can discuss with our dentist in Somerset.

  • Maryland Bridges

Maryland bridges are an excellent alternative to traditional bridges. They are similar in all aspects, but the main difference is that the pontic is attached to a metal or porcelain framework. It eliminates the need for dental crowns to hold the pontic in place.

The adjacent teeth will remain intact since there will be no need to remove the enamel. These bridges, however, cannot withstand the chewing force of the back teeth and are only suitable for replacing your front teeth.

Dental Bridge vs. Implant

A dental implant is considered the permanent tooth replacement option since it is surgically inserted into your jawbone. Even though a dental bridge is attached to the abutment teeth, they don’t offer what implants offer, which is root replacement.

With proper care, bridges can last up to 15 years. There is another option. You can get implant-supported dental bridges, where the bridge is attached to the dental implant instead of the adjacent teeth. This option is the best since your tooth will be stable and sturdy.

Contact us at KK Dental in Somerset to schedule an appointment if you need to get a dental bridge.

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