Dental bridges are prosthetics that are used for the replacement of one or more missing teeth. They are attached with dental crowns to teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Bridges offer a close match to the appearance of natural teeth, making it easier for you to chew your food and speak. They are also no trouble to care for, offering a long-lasting solution to natural teeth that can last for 10 years or more, provided you practice good oral hygiene.
When looking for a solution to missing teeth, you should also consider your alternatives. Dentures and dental implants are common alternatives to dental bridges.
Materials Used in Dental Bridges:
Precious metals like gold and copper
Who needs dental bridges?
You could benefit from a dental bridge if you have lost one or more of your natural teeth. In addition to helping you chew and speak better, bridges can help restore your natural smile.
Bridges become less practical when a patient needs more teeth replaced. If you are missing a lot of teeth, it may make more sense to use other types of prosthetics, such as dentures or dental implants.
Types of Dental Bridges
Here are some of the most commonly used types of dental bridges:
A traditional bridge consist of three connected pieces: two abutment teeth with crowns, on either side of the missing teeth for supporting the bridge, and a false tooth called a pontic that will be between the two abutment teeth. Your dental bridge would be connected to the abutment teeth, and the pontic would be filling the empty space left by your missing tooth.
Instead of being connected to abutment teeth, implant-supported bridges are attached to at least one dental implant. This type of bridge is quite strong and appropriate for those missing more than one tooth. One drawback is that they are significantly more expensive than other types of implants, but they also have a high satisfaction rate among patients.
These are helpful for those wanting to replace a tooth missing at the end of an arch. Since there is not another tooth for bridge attachment, the pontic is placed by one side over the empty space.
This type of bridge is supported and connected by adjacent teeth using dental cement, instead of the attachment of two crowns. They preserve more natural tooth structure and are less expensive, but they are also quite delicate. They are only used for the front of the mouth, and the patient must take care to avoid directly biting into things like pizza crust or apples.
Two possible alternatives to dental bridges are dentures and dental implants. Although dentures are less expensive than dental bridges, they also tend to be uncomfortable and somewhat inconvenient to wear.
Dental implants are considerably more expensive than dental bridges, but they offer superior function and durability. They are implanted right into the jawbone, so they will never slip like dentures sometimes can.