Dental bridges replace missing teeth. Furthermore, they are in effect exactly what they sound like, a tooth bridge between two teeth.
A missing tooth can spoil even the most beautiful smile. If you are missing teeth you may have trouble speaking, chewing or you may notice strain when biting. Dental bridges may be perfect to help make your mouth healthy and beautiful again.
What is a dental bridge
Bridges, literally bridge gaps between teeth by filling them with strong, natural-looking artificial teeth. Most importantly, they are comfortable and aesthetic permanent fixtures in your mouth. A typical dental bridge consists of a pontic (a filler tooth) attached to two surrounding abutments (dental crowns). Once complete, this dental bridge structure is bonded into the mouth, consequently, masking the gap caused by the missing tooth. Although dentures and dental implants are also used to replace missing teeth, dental bridges are a great fixed alternative solution.
Advantages of a dental bridge
Without the use of a dental bridge, spaces in the mouth from missing teeth can cause teeth to shift. This can lead to occlusion (biting) and/or jaw problems and spur periodontal disease. Dental bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
Types of dental bridges
There are two main types of dental bridge. Different designs suit different applications. Your dentist will be able to tell you which is the best bridge for you.
This is a bridge that involves the use of crowns as abutments. Preparation of the teeth surrounding the gap allows full coverage crowns to support the bridge, and in addition to this, a floating false tooth pontic fills the remaining gap. Firstly the preparation of the teeth to support occurs, and then secondly the fitting of the bridge can take place.
Implant-supported bridges are similar to conventional bridges, except that they use implants to support them and not crowns. A strong and stable system, an implant-supported bridge commonly requires two surgeries. Firstly to place the implants in the jawbone and secondly to place the bridge. The procedure is more complex than a conventional bridge and therefore takes longer to complete.
Adhesive Maryland Bridge
This type of bridge is literally stuck onto the back of the adjacent teeth, thus allowing minimal destruction of tooth structure. As less of the tooth needs preparation, there will be less long-term side effects. One of the major disadvantages is that the glue can break. However, if this occurs we can easily re-cement the bridge.
How much do dental bridges cost?
The cost depends on how many teeth need replacement. You can find out more about the fees surrounding dental bridges on our fees page. Due to the popularity of dental implants less dental bridges are being provided compared to previous years. However, they are still a viable option for many patients.