Why do you need to replace a missing tooth?
After losing a tooth or getting a tooth extracted, it is crucial that you get a replacement to avoid more severe issues and complications that can impact your overall dental health. Teeth provide crucial support for each other. One missing tooth alone can severely impact and change the biting force of a neighboring tooth, and the lack of support created by the gap can cause the remaining teeth to shift. As your teeth drift and your bite changes, you may experience difficulties chewing, and you may damage your jaw joint (TMJ). Malpositioned teeth can also be more difficult to clean, which can lead to cavities and permanent bone loss.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is an effective option to replace one or more missing teeth while restoring stability and support among your remaining teeth. The bridge is a false tooth (called a pontic), that is held in place by the abutment teeth- two anchor crowns that will be placed over the neighboring teeth.
To ensure that your dental bridge will feel, fit and look right, each device is custom-made, carefully crafted and individually fit to fully satisfy each individual need. Your dentist will thoroughly prepare the neighboring teeth and take impressions of your mouth.
Dental bridges are generally made from superior materials, including semiprecious and precious metals, porcelain or a fused porcelain-metal combination. Our dentists will carefully consider aesthetics, function and tissue compatibility to select the right material for your individual case.
Dental Bridge Types
There are four main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional fixed dental bridge
- Cantilever bridge
- Maryland dental bridge
- implant supported bridge
Traditional Fixed Dental Bridge
A traditional dental bridge is the most common type of dental bridge. It has two or more crowns and a filler tooth or teeth that are all connected. This option requires the patient to have a healthy supporting tooth on either side of the gap in their smile.
Although similar to a traditional bridge, the pontic in a cantilever dental bridge is held in place by a dental crown that is cemented to only one abutment tooth. This can sometimes by an option for people who have teeth on only one side of the gap.
Maryland Dental Bridge
Maryland dental bridges are made for patients who need one or more front teeth replaced. It is made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramic teeth, supported by framework. Wings on each side of the bridge bond to your existing teeth. They are much more uncommon than the traditional dental bridge and are only available to individuals who have strong neighboring teeth and excellent oral hygiene.
Implant Supported Bridge
This bridge is similar to “traditional fixed bridge” by instead of being cemented in place to teeth, it is held in place by implants. Typically, one implant is surgically placed for every missing tooth, and these implants hold the bridge in position. An implant supported dental bridge offers superior support for your jawbone and surrounding teeth compared to other restorative alternatives.
Call us today to set up an appointment or to schedule a consultation, so we can discuss your options to restore your beautiful smile!
This page has been reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Chad Corriveau, a partner at MPDG who completed dental school at the of University of Illinois at Chicago. Click here to follow him on Linkedin.
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