If you have one or multiple missing teeth, a dental bridge can restore your natural smile. Oftentimes, this dental procedure can be completed in just one office visit.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are a type of restorative dentistry designed to replace missing teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. Bridges fill in the gap left by missing teeth to restore a full, healthy smile. Plus, if you have missing teeth, a dental bridge can make it easier and more comfortable to speak and eat.
To fabricate a bridge, crowns are made for the teeth that neighbor the gap, called “abutment teeth,” and a pontic (false tooth) is positioned in between the crowns. The crowns act as supports for the pontic.
The pontic is typically constructed from dental porcelain, which has a similar appearance to that of your natural teeth. Dental porcelain is biocompatible and as strong, if not stronger, than your natural enamel.
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
Four main types of dental bridges are available:
- Traditional dental bridge
A traditional dental bridge includes a pontic secured by dental crowns on the two teeth neighboring the gap.
- Cantilever dental bridge
A cantilever dental bridge is a pontic secured by a dental crown on just one neighboring tooth.
- Maryland dental bridge
A Maryland dental bridge, like a traditional dental bridge, uses two neighboring teeth to secure the pontic. But rather than using crowns, a Maryland dental bridge involves metal or porcelain bonded to the neighboring teeth.
- Implant-supported dental bridge
An implant-supported dental bridge supports the pontic with dental implants, rather than crowns or metal/porcelain frameworks.
How Are Dental Bridges Applied?
To get a dental bridge, your dentist will first prepare the teeth that neighbor the gap. Preparation includes removing a small amount of enamel to change the contour of the teeth and open up space for the crown. Then, your dentist will take images of your teeth using our CAD/CAM camera for the creation of the crowns, pontic, and bridge.
Three unit bridges are typically made onsite in one visit. For longer span bridges, a second visit is required at this time. But with rapid advancements in dental technology on the horizon, we expect longer span bridges to be completed in a single visit in the near future.
Your bridge will then be set in place and adjusted as needed to find the perfect fit. Once the right fit is achieved, the bridge is cemented into place.
With proper care and hygiene, dental bridges can last for well over a decade. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure the longevity of your dental bridge.
If you have missing teeth and are interested in the benefits of a dental bridge, contact us today.