What Are The Different Types Of Dental Bridges?
There are four types of dental bridges; traditional, cantilever, maryland and implant-supported. All these dental bridges work to provide the patient with a good bite grip when eating and protect the gums underneath from damage due to the pressure applied when eating.
They are often the most popular solution to a confident smile and healthy eating bite when an adult is missing one or more missing teeth, but what exactly does each dental bridge do?
Traditional Dental Bridges
These dental bridges are used when there are natural teeth surrounding a missing tooth or gap on both sides. It consists of one or more false teeth (pontic) made from ceramic or porcelain that are fused to metal, this is held in place by crowns on the natural teeth (abutment) either side of the missing teeth.
To place crowns on the natural teeth the dentist needs to remove some enamel from them, this is irreversible as enamel does not grow back. As a result, these teeth will always need to be protected with crowns even if you decide to have a different dental bridge fitted later on.
Cantilever Dental Bridges
This dental bridge is very similar to the above traditional bridge, however, it is fixed to just one natural tooth as there is only one to the side of the tooth gap.
As with the traditional dental bridge, the dentist will need to remove enamel from the natural tooth to fix it in place. It is worth noting that due to the bridge being fixed only on one side there is a slightly higher chance of tooth fracture or crown loosening over time.
Maryland Dental Bridges
These resin-bonded bridges are usually recommended for replacing missing teeth at the front of the mouth as they use metal or porcelain bands to bind the false tooth to the back of the natural teeth.
This procedure does not require the enamel to be removed from the natural teeth, however, it is not as durable as the traditional dental bridges. Patients are recommended to be careful with their bite force on areas of the mouth with these dental bridges.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
This dental bridge is only used when there is more than one tooth missing as they are supported by dental implants rather than natural teeth.
A dental implant is fitted in place of missing teeth, creating a series of holds for the dental bridge. Sometimes dentists may recommend a false tooth be suspended on the dental bridge between two implants, as a complete set of implants is not always possible.
It is important to note that this type of dental bridge can take several months to complete with two surgeries:
- To fit the implants,
- To fit the dental bridge.
All of the options above will be thoroughly explained and accessed by your dentist, with them recommending the most appropriate types of dental bridges to you. They will also talk to you about taking care of your dental bridge when it is in place, as most last between five to seven years, but with excellent dental hygiene, ten years or longer is attainable. This includes avoiding the following foods:
And overly hard foods.
There is no need for missing teeth to dampen your smile, with so many great options open to you your dentist is sure to find the right fit for your smile. Ask us about how we can help you today!
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