What are the Different Types of Dental Bridges?
In our last North Point Dental Blog, we provided an overview of what dental implants and dental bridges were. This blog, we’re diving deep into the different types of dental bridges so you know what options best fit your smile.
Ultimately, you’ll be able to determine which option you can move forward with by consulting with your dentist. However, it’s important to stay informed so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Keep reading for more information about the four types of dental bridges.
1. Traditional Dental Bridges
Out of the four dental bridge options, traditional bridges are the most popular. A traditional dental bridge will consist of one or more fake teeth and are held in place by dental crowns. These dental crowns, commonly referred to as abutments, are cemented onto the teeth adjacent to your missing tooth.
If you have natural teeth at both sides of where your missing tooth is located, a traditional dental bridge may be precisely the solution you’ve been looking for. It’s also important to note that bridges are, in fact, strong enough to replace molars. An unfortunate consequence of this procedure is that you’ll lose enamel on your teeth in order for your dentist to make room for the crowns that will be cemented on top. This then means that your teeth will always have to be protected with crowns for them to stay optimally functional and healthy.
2. Cantilever Bridges
In the instance that you have no tooth on either side of your missing tooth, a cantilever bridge may appeal to you. The pontic, or fake tooth, is supported by an abutment on only one side, rather than on both sides.
In order for your dentist to best prepare the adjacent tooth to support the bridge, he or she will remove its enamel. Additionally, when a cantilever bridge requires minimal support, only one support tooth with a dental crown is needed. Consequently, this means less work for your dentist and you.
3. Maryland Bridges
The Maryland Bridge gets its name from the University of Maryland, where the technique was first discovered. A Maryland bridge is considered a conservative alternative to traditional bridges. This kind of bridge consists of a metal framework with a porcelain tooth laid onto the front of the framework. The framework will then end up as a false tooth with two metal wings on both sides.
The unfortunate part of this procedure is that the strength of the bridge is limited by the strength of the resin that holds it in place. The framework has been reported to sometimes get in the way of your gums or when you bite. If you are looking for a comfortable, long-term solution, then you may want to discuss other options with your Tampa Bay dentist.
4. Implant-Supported Bridges
Similar to a traditional dental bridge, an implant-supported bridge is supported by implants and not natural teeth. Typically, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each missing tooth. Then your dentist will connect the crowns to one another to ultimately form one piece.
This treatment is ideal for anyone who is missing teeth in their upper jaw area. For this procedure to be optional, the natural teeth and surrounding gums near the implant must be healthy. This is because you need enough bone to support dental implants. Without it, you may require bone augmentation or grafting before the implant procedure commences.
Finding the Dental Bridge Option For You
Gaps in your teeth can’t stop you from creating a smile that you feel confident about. With a dental bridge, your dentist can close the gaps in your teeth to create the appearance of a full, healthy smile. Discuss with North Pointe Dental Associates your dental bridge options, today!