Dental bridges are used to fill the gaps created by one or more missing teeth. The bridge consists of two or more crowns for the teeth or implant on either side of the gap – the crowns are anchored in the teeth or implant – and a false tooth is situated between. Dental bridges are fixed and cemented on the supporting teeth or dental implant on either side of the gap. They replace missing tooth both functionally and aesthetically.
In adults, the most common causes of tooth loss are tooth decay and periodontal diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitits. Missing teeth should be replaced to recover its function such as chewing and speaking, and maintain the shape of the mouth. More importantly, a missing tooth should be replaced to prevent chain reaction of harmful dental problems such as bite changes which can eventually result to jaw problems like temporomandibular disorders.
The use of dental bridges is one of the many tooth loss treatment available in the market. There are different types of dental bridges to choose from. Your dentist or your cosmetic dentist will help you determine what type of dental bridge is best suited for you. The types include:
- Traditional bridges – These bridges consist of crowns on the either side of the gap and a false tooth or pontic in between. The supporting teeth undergo an extensive reduction to fit the crowns of the bridges. They are usually made from metals, porcelain and a combination of the two materials. A porcelain dental bridge is preferred to be used in the front of the mouth because it mimics the natural appearance of the teeth. Metal dental bridges are usually used to replace the loss of molars because they can withstand the chewing pressure.
- Cantilever bridges – These are used when neighboring teeth are only present on one side of the missing loss. They are not commonly used.
- Maryland bonded bridges – These use the support of the neighboring teeth on each side of the missing tooth; however, unlike traditional bridges, Maryland bonded bridges do not require extensive reduction of the supporting teeth. This type of bridges uses wings instead of crowns to attach itself to the supporting teeth on each side of the missing tooth.
Dental bridges can last for very long time if cared properly. To care for your dental bridges, you should ensure that your remaining teeth are strong and healthy. Preventive measures such as tooth brushing and dental flossing should be practiced and eating nutritious food should become a habit.