Dental bridges or bridges are used when there are one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges are used to fill the gap created by missing teeth. A bridge is usually made of crowns on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. It supports the false tooth and is cemented in place. A dental bridge is a false tooth called a pontic. Pontics can be made using a variety of materials, such as gold, but are more commonly made of porcelain to match the color and appearance of the natural teeth and provide better aesthetic results.
Who needs a dental bridge?
Dental bridges can help fill the gap in case of missing tooth or teeth. The most common causes of missing teeth include:
Why do I need a dental bridge?
Teeth are required for several functions. Missing teeth can lead to several problems. Every tooth supports the teeth on either side of it. If a tooth is missing, the nearby teeth may move into the empty space. The teeth from the opposite jaw can also move up or down toward the empty space. This movement of teeth can cause a variety of problems, such as:
- Bite problems
- Difficulty in chewing
- Cosmetic changes to the smile
Benefits of getting a dental bridge:
A dental bridge can address the problems caused due to missing teeth. The benefits include:
- Restoration of smile
- Restoration of the ability to chew properly
- Restoration of speech and proper pronunciation
- Maintaining the shape of the face
- Correction of bite problems
- Preventing movement of remaining normal teeth
What are the types of dental bridges?
There are four main types of dental bridges:
Traditional dental bridge:
This is a false tooth or teeth that are held in place by dental crowns. The crowns are cemented onto each of the abutment teeth on either side of the gap. Abutment teeth are the teeth that support the bridges. They are the most popular type of dental bridge. They can be used when there are normal, natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by the missing tooth or teeth.
Cantilever dental bridge:
This is similar to a traditional bridge. The false tooth or pontic in this type of dental bridge and is held in place by a dental crown. The dental crown is cemented to only one abutment tooth. This type of bridge requires only one natural tooth next to the gap created by the missing tooth or teeth.
Maryland dental bridge:
Maryland dental bridges also use two natural abutment teeth similar to traditional bridges. Unlike traditional bridges, these bridges use a framework of either metal or porcelain, which are bonded onto the backs of both the abutment teeth. Hence, this type of bridge can only be used when there is a normal, natural tooth on either side of the gap caused by the missing tooth or teeth.
Implant-supported dental bridge:
Implant-supported bridges use dental implants instead of crowns or frameworks. One implant is surgically placed for every missing tooth to hold the bridge in position. This is the strongest and most stable system. An implant-supported bridge usually requires two surgeries. First, the implant is embedded into the jawbone and the next is the placement of the bridge. This procedure can take a few months to finish.
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