I’m Missing a Tooth. Is a Dental Bridge My Best Option?

We don’t plan for dental emergencies, but they can happen. Missing teeth affect more than your smile’s appearance. Because your bottom and top teeth are designed to work together, missing teeth increase the stress on your teeth and jaw. You can relieve pressure and improve your smile with a dental bridge!

What are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are designed to literally “bridge” the gap created by missing teeth. There are many different types of dental bridges designed to improve your smile, no matter the amount of missing teeth!

Types of Dental Bridges

Depending on how many teeth you are missing and the surrounding teeth, there are four different types of bridges. A dental bridge is typically composed of fake teeth, called pontics, and dental crowns used to anchor the bridge in place. Teeth with crowns on them are called abutment teeth.

Traditional

The first type is the traditional dental bridge. This is the most popular type and can contain one to four fake teeth to “bridge” the gap. A traditional dental bridge is used when there are natural teeth located on both sides of the gap. The enamel from these teeth will be removed. Then crowns will be placed on the two natural teeth along with a pontic to close the gap in between. The bridge is one continuous piece and fits seamlessly into the gap.

Cantilever

A cantilever dental bridge is similar to a traditional dental bridge, but instead, is used when there is only one natural tooth on one side of the gap. This natural tooth will lose its enamel and receive a crown and hold the pontics in place. Like the traditional bridge, the bridge will go over the natural tooth and the gap.

Maryland

The Maryland dental bridge is a more conservative approach when compared to the traditional dental bridge. The pontics are secured to the gum line with metal or porcelain framework. The framework is then secured to the teeth near the gap. This is a great option if you want to avoid crowns or fillings!

Implant-Supported

Implant-supported dental bridges are necessary if more than one tooth missing in a gap. Like the name states, the bridge is supported by dental implants. One implant is inserted for each missing teeth. This dental bridge is the most comfortable dental bridge and feels the most secure out of the four types.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a great solution for missing teeth. Not only do they give you a brilliant and natural-looking smile, dental bridges offer many benefits such as:

  • More affordable
  • Simple, quick procedure
  • Doesn’t require surgery
  • Last 5-15 years, with proper maintenance
  • Promote better dental health
  • Enhance your ability to chew and speak

Dental Bridge FAQ’s

Bridges vs. Implants

When it comes to missing teeth, there are two options for restoring the brilliance of your smile. Dental bridges are one solution, while dental implants are another option. The process of dental implants require a more intense surgical procedure. Implants are drilled into your mouth and connected to your jawbone. They are more permanent, but require a more invasive process.

How to Care for Your Dental Bridge

When you have a dental bridge installed, you won’t need to worry about changing up your dental routine too much. Just like your regular teeth, your dental bridge requires brushing and flossing. Being mindful of your dental bridge and taking care of it just as you would your regular teeth can make your bridge last at least 10 years!

Will It Need to Be Replaced?

Your dental bridge will have to be replaced within 10 years (15 years if you maintain proper oral health) of it being installed. The crowns used to anchor the bridge may need to be replaced within 7-10 years. Though your bridge will need to be replaced, unlike dental implants, it’s an easy and quick procedure that doesn’t require invasive surgery.

How Long Does the Process Take?

Dental bridges are typically completed in 1-2 visits. At your first visit, the doctors will take impressions of your mouth to create the custom bridge. This visit will also include preparing the abutment teeth and installing the crowns for those teeth. You will be given a temporary bridge until your bridge is ready. Once your new bridge is ready, you will return for a second visit to install the bridge and make any adjustments that may be necessary.

Dental Bridges with Tower Dental Associates

Still unsure if a dental bridge is right for you? Schedule an appointment with Tower Dental Associates to discuss your options. Our team of dentists want you to be comfortable and we will determine the best solution for any dental concern!

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