If you’ve ever lost a tooth, it can feel like the end of the world. Or, at least, the end of your beautiful smile. But if one of your little pearly whites fell off its thread—or out of your mouth as it were—it doesn’t mean that you can’t smile even brighter than before. Dentists have a few tricks up their sleeves to replace missing teeth and restore lost confidence.
Dental implants and artificial teeth tend to be what patients first think of when they’re trying to replace a missing tooth. While those options are great and may be the right solution for you, don’t count out dental bridges. Despite its popularity amongst dentists as a smile-fixing miracle, many patients are unaware of dental bridges’ benefits.
Today, we hope to demystify any looming questions you may have about dental bridges and discuss their modern uses and appeals.
What are Dental Bridges?
Simply put, a dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration treatment. While dental bridges can come in any number of configurations, they generally consist of a combination of dental crowns, implants, and an artificial tooth called a “pontic”. The pontic replaces the missing natural tooth or teeth and is anchored in place by the surrounding teeth, or what your dentist would call abutment teeth.
The procedure creates a “bridge” of teeth that can support your bite while restoring your smile in a way that feels natural to the jaw.
There are three major types of dental bridges and they all have their own unique uses and advantages.
- Traditional Bridges: The most common dental bridge on our list, a traditional bridge is generally constructed using porcelain fused to metal or ceramic. This bridge is classified as a pontic with a crown or implant on surrounding teeth.
- Cantilever Bridges: Probably the least common type of dental bridge, your dentist will use a cantilever bridge if teeth only exist to one side of a missing tooth. It’s a rare procedure that dentists usually only use to replace missing teeth towards the back of the mouth as opposed to missing front teeth.
- Maryland Dental Bridges: Despite what the name suggests, this type of dental bridge will not take you to Maryland. Also known as a bonded bridge, Maryland bridges feature a metal or porcelain framework that is bonded to existing teeth to create the support structure needed for the pontic.
Dental Bridge Benefits
A Restored Smile
If there was only one benefit we could focus on, it would be the restoration of a smile. After all, healthy smiles are what dental and oral hygiene are all about. A missing tooth can create many issues, such as trouble speaking or chewing. When these basic needs are not met, patients can feel insecure about presentations, lunch dates, or even cooking their favourite 12 oz. steak.
A dental bridge offers distributed support for the replaced tooth, and when properly fitted you can expect natural-feeling function and the reappearance of your beautiful smile.
Ease of Cleaning
When compared to dentures or a retainer, a dental bridge doesn’t require any special cleaning regiments beyond the regular tooth brushing. Keeping up with your typical oral care routine will be more than enough.
Dental Bridges have been around for ages. Nevertheless, with age comes wisdom. For dental bridges, this means tried and true methods that provide a durable solution that lasts for years. With good oral hygiene, you can expect bridges to last 10-15 years, bar any injuries that might cause dislodgement or damage.
Unlike London bridges, if you properly care for your dental bridges, they won’t be falling down any time soon.
Are Dental Bridges Right for You?
Dental bridges are a fantastic option for those that can utilize them. However, depending on your oral history, bone density, and tooth structure, bridges might not be the best option for your missing tooth.
The best way to tell if dental bridges are the solution for your missing tooth is to call your dentist. Cedarwood Dental team has your back when it comes to making this formidable choice. Get all the information you need to help get your oral care back on track – call us today!