Dental bridges are used to “bridge” the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges are placed on your natural teeth, on implants, or on a combination of both and offer a long-term solution for tooth loss. Most types of bridges are fixed, meaning they can’t be removed from your mouth without the assistance of your dentist. The three primary types of dental bridges include traditional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, and Maryland bonded bridges. Consult with your dentist to see which type is best for you.
Traditional Fixed Bridges
The traditional fixed bridge is the most widely known type of bridge, typically constructed of porcelain fused to metal. Traditional bridges feature two dental crowns that are placed over two abutment teeth used as anchors. The two anchoring crowns are bonded to one or more pontics, or artificial teeth, used to fill in the gap or gaps created by missing teeth. A properly placed fixed bridge can help maintain face shape, restore chewing and speaking ability, and prevent teeth from moving out of position.
Cantilever bridges are typically recommended when there are not sufficient abutment teeth on either side of the gap to help create the “bridge”. Unlike a traditional fixed bridge which supports the artificial tooth from both sides, a cantilever bridge supports the artificial tooth from just one side. While two crowns are still used to create the bridge, the abutment crowns are placed next to each other, with the pontic at one end. If minimal support is needed to hold the artificial tooth, only one crown may be needed.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
Maryland bonded bridges are commonly used to replace missing teeth in the front of the mouth. This type of bridge consists of one artificial tooth, which has been bonded to a set of metal wings. These wings are bonded to the teeth located on either side of the missing tooth to hold it in place. Placing a Maryland bonded bridge typically takes two dental visits. During the first visit, the teeth on either side of the gap are prepared, and an impression is taken. During the next visit, the bridge is bonded in place.
The loss of one or more teeth can have a significant impact on the look and function of your smile. Fortunately, there are three main types of bridges available that can help restore function and improve the aesthetics of your teeth. Consult with your restorative dentist to determine which type of bridge is right for you based on the condition of your teeth and how many are missing.
Contact our dentist in Charlotte, NC for more information on dental bridges.