A dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic that fills the gap created by a missing tooth. It is a natural-looking replacement that is permanently bonded to the adjacent teeth. Bridges can also be supported by dental implants.
The restoration is typically made from porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of materials. In most cases, a mixture of metal and porcelain is used. The replacement teeth are fused to metal bands to create a strong bridge structure and replace the missing teeth. Metal-free options are also available for patients who prefer them.
Dental bridges can last for many years with proper care. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits to protect the surrounding teeth and gums, as decay can still form under a bridge without proper cleaning. It is also important to visit the dentist regularly so that potential problems are addressed as soon as possible.
Types of Bridges
Traditional bridges use crowns for support. The dental crowns on either side of the bridge are bonded to healthy teeth. A traditional bridge functions like natural teeth and is a long-lasting solution. This type of bridge is not removable and can be cleaned easily at home. It is also very durable and can last many years with proper care. However, while a traditional bridge is more stable than dentures, it can still shift slightly in your mouth, creating sore spots. Our dentist may recommend using a special retainer to prevent the bridge from moving or causing discomfort.
Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional bridges but they are only supported by one healthy tooth on one side. This restoration can be used when there is only one healthy and strong adjacent tooth. Cantilever bridges cannot be removed and are permanently attached or cemented in place. While they are stable in the mouth, this type of bridge is not recommended for patients who are prone to grinding their teeth because the restoration may be damaged.
Maryland-bonded bridges use metal wings for support. Some patients prefer this option because it does not alter the structure of the adjacent teeth. However, this bridge is not ideal for all patients since some may be allergic to the metal alloy the wings are made from. Maryland dental bridges are not removable and they are easy to clean and maintain but can be less durable than other bridge types.
Advantages of Bridges
- Compared to dentures, bridges are more stable as they are cemented in place.
- They function exactly as natural teeth do – you can eat and speak normally without worrying about your teeth coming out.
- Bridges are a permanent restoration and aren’t removable like dentures are.
- Their appearance can be customized to perfectly match that of your existing natural teeth.
- They are quite durable and long-lasting.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at Christopherson Family Dentistry, call (715) 344-9684 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 2901 Church St, Stevens Point, WI 54481.