What is a dental bridge ? Why choose it?
FOR DR.ROZE BIOHEALTH CLINICS | 15.07.2022
A bridge literally ‘bridges’ the gap left by a missing tooth using the surrounding natural teeth or dental implants for support. It is made up of two crowns that sit on top of the teeth neighbouring the gap, and a replacement tooth (also referred to as ‘pontic’) to fill the gap itself.
1/- What are the advantages of dental bridges:
- Dental bridges are usually small, lightweight, providing excellent chewing comfort
- They correct and re-distribute the normal bite force, compromised by your missing teeth
- Getting used to your new dental bridge is usually easy and comfortable
- Helps maintain the shape of your face
- Controls shifting and moving of adjoining teeth
- Enhances your natural speaking and eating ability
- Only 2 – 3 appointments are needed to complete your bridge restoration
- The longevity factor and general prognosis is good, if your hygiene and home care is maintained at a heightened level
2/- What are the disadvantages of dental bridges?
- If you develop a deep cavity, infection or periodontal (gum) disease with either supporting tooth, your entire dental bridge could be compromised.
- Some dental bridges require tooth preparation
- Fixed bridges are strong and reliable and in most cases they feel and look very much like natural teeth. Dental bridges can last 5 – 15 years and even longer if they remain stable, and if your personal oral hygiene is maintained at a high level
3/- What are the different types of bridges?
Traditional bridges: These are the most common type of dental bridge. Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth either side of the missing tooth, with a “pontic” in between. The crowns fit comfortably on top of your natural teeth to keep the bridge firmly in place.
They are usually small, lightweight and provide excellent chewing comfort, by re-distributing your normal bite force compromised by your missing teeth. If your hygiene and home care is maintained at a optimum level this type of bridge can last a long time.
The primary downside of traditional bridges is that in order for the crowns to fit properly, the anchor teeth must be filed down from their original size as part of the dental bridge procedure. These two teeth have to be strong enough to support the bridge and take the extra biting pressure.
If you later decide to replace your tooth bridge with an implant, the adjacent teeth will require crowns since removal of enamel is permanent. Aside from that, a fixed bridge is a strong and durable solution.
Maryland Bridges (Butterfly bridges) : Maryland bridges are considered a conservative alternative to traditional bridges. These bridges consist of a pontic that is held in place by a metal or porcelain framework. This framework is bonded onto the backs of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. Since this type of bridge isn’t held in place by crowns, the adjacent teeth don’t need to be filed.
While Maryland bridges are more conservative than traditional bridges, they do have their downsides. The strength of the bridge is limited by the strength of the resin that holds it in place, so it may not stay in place in areas of the mouth where the teeth are subjected to a lot of biting force, like the molars.
Cantilever Bridge: Similar to a Maryland bridge, this bridge is used when there is only one natural tooth available to support the missing tooth or teeth. If you choose this type of bridge, we will bond the crown to one abutment tooth to keep it securely in place.
This bridge design is not recommended for use in the back of the mouth where too much bite force can be put on the abutment tooth. But it can work if it’s designed well and if the cantilevered tooth is the front tooth. The biting forces must be considered in the design which can be done by a good lab, making these types of dental bridges a valuable option when trying to save time and money.
Cantilever vs. Traditional Bridges
Traditional bridges feature pontics flanked by two dental crowns, and they span the gap left by missing teeth. To secure the restoration, the dentist will need to sculpt neighboring teeth by removing a small portion of enamel. Though identical in function, cantilever bridges only require a single abutment tooth to be reshaped. The pontic will then project into the nearby space. Typically, dentists only use cantilever bridges to replace single missing teeth.
The Benefits of a Cantilever Bridge
Like traditional bridges, cantilever bridges can restore your bite and your ability to eat comfortably. They also enable those who would not otherwise qualify for a bridge to receive a fixed restoration. Replacing missing teeth can prevent other teeth from shifting and protect you from misalignment. Of course, bridges also have important cosmetic advantages. A complete smile can renew your confidence and encourage you to smile and laugh freely.
Implant supported Implant: As the name suggests, these bridges are anchored in using a dental implant and are an increasingly popular choice as there is normally no damage to the adjoining natural teeth.
The implant acts as a root for the replacement tooth or teeth, and should provide you with a very secure and comfortable feeling, similar to your natural teeth.
It’s paramount that your implant supported bridge is designed with adequate spacing for you to clean between the dental implant, and if integrated well there are incredibly stable. With two implants supporting a bridge, it’s actually easier and more effective than having three implants in a row.
If your implants remain stable and general oral hygiene is maintained at a high level, implanted supported bridges can last a lifetime.
Are you looking for an effective solution for restoring a missing tooth?
Get in touch with our specialists for a dental bridge consultation here.
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