If your teeth are decayed, damaged or missing, there are a range of options available to help you restore a healthy, bright smile including dentures, dental implants and dental bridges. A bridge tooth or dental bridge is a way to bridge or close the gaps in your smile if you have one or several missing teeth.
Dental bridges are a type of false tooth called pontics, which can be made from porcelain, gold, alloys or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are typically supported by implants or crowns fitted over existing natural teeth either side of the gap. Below we take a look at the four main types of dental bridges.
Why Replacing Missing Teeth is Important
Missing teeth aren’t just a cosmetic problem. They can pose oral health risks, and they can adversely affect your lifestyle in numerous ways. Replacing a missing tooth prevents:
- Opposing teeth from over erupting
- Shifting teeth
- Gum disease
- Erosion of your jawbone
Missing teeth can create sensitive areas in the mouth that are painful to brush, floss and take care of. Missing teeth also have a way of creating small, hard-to-access regions in the mouth that may not be easy to clean.
Options to Replace Missing Teeth
Some possible options to replace missing teeth include dental implants, dentures and bridges. Dental implants are a popular option because they look great and are easy to maintain. However, they can be the costliest of the solutions. Dentures and dental bridges are often better suited to situations where multiple teeth are missing.
The appropriate option depends on a variety of factors like which teeth are missing, how many teeth are missing, gum health and more. Your dentist will discuss and recommend the most appropriate solution.
Benefits of Dental Bridges
When you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, it can affect you in a number of ways. A dental bridge can restore your ability to chew, restore confidence and prevent the issues outlined earlier. There are a variety of dental bridges available depending on how many missing teeth you have and other specifics of your situation, including:
- Traditional Dental Bridge – Consists of a false tooth or teeth that are held in place by dental implants or crowns that have been cemented onto each of the abutment (crowned) teeth. A traditional dental bridge can be used when you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by your missing tooth.
- Cantilever Dental Bridge – Similar to a traditional bridge except the pontic is held in place by a dental crown that is cemented to only one abutment tooth. This makes it one of the simplest solutions as you only need one natural tooth next to the missing tooth gap to support the bridge.
- Maryland Bonded Dental Bridge – Similar to a traditional bridge, except the pontic is held using a framework of either metal or porcelain that is then bonded onto the backs of the teeth adjacent to the gaps. This requires minimal preparation of the surrounding teeth unlike other forms of dental bridges.
- Implant-Supported Dental Bridge – Implant-supported dental bridges involve using dental implants to support the bridge instead of crowns or frameworks. The process typically involves getting an implant for every missing tooth, each of which work together to hold the bridge in position.
As long as you practice good dental hygiene, any of these dental bridges will last a lifetime. If your bridge is supported by existing natural teeth, it is essential to keep your remaining teeth healthy. The success of the bridge depends on the foundation offered by the surrounding teeth.
Book a Consultation at King Street Dental Today
Booking regular dental appointments is another important factor in maintaining good dental health. At King Street Dental, we offer quality general and specialised dental care services in Templestowe. This includes everything from regular check-ups to teeth whitening and dental implants.
Book an appointment today by calling 03 9841 8033 or contact us online.