True to its name, a dental bridge fills in, or bridges, a gap left by one or more missing teeth. It consists of two or more crowns which cover the teeth on each side of the gap. These adjacent teeth that anchor a dental bridge are known as abutment teeth. In addition, a bridge consists of one or more replacement teeth called pontics that fill a gap. Pontics can be made from porcelain, gold, alloys, or a combination of materials. Dental bridges can also be supported by tooth implants. Weissman Dental offers various types of dental bridge procedures.
Types of Dental Bridges
There are four types of dental bridges. These include a traditional bridge, Maryland bridge, a cantilever bridge, and implant-supported bridge.
This type of bridge is made up of one or more replacement teeth that are supported by crowns cemented onto abutment teeth. This is the most common type of bridge, but can only be used if you have healthy, natural teeth on each side of a gap.
Like a traditional bridge, a Maryland bridge requires the use of two abutment teeth, one on each side of a gap. However, a traditional bridge consists of crowns on the abutment teeth, while a Maryland bridge has a porcelain or a metal framework that gets bonded to the back sides of both of the abutment teeth.
Unlike a traditional bridge, a cantilever bridge is supported by a crown cemented on a single abutment tooth. Therefore, you only need one natural tooth adjacent to the gap made by missing teeth with this type of bridge.
With an implant-supported bridge, there is typically one implant surgically placed in the jawbone to support each missing tooth. However, this type of bridge may consist of a suspended pontic between implant-supported crowns if an implant isn’t an option for that missing tooth. This is the most stable type of bridge, but it can take up to a few months for this entire procedure to be complete.
Why a Dental Bridge?
Having missing teeth can create numerous negative consequences, from making your smile less attractive to bone loss in your jaw. In addition, tooth loss can cause your face to have a sunken appearance, and teeth adjacent to a gap can begin to tilt and/or shift into empty spaces. A dental bridge can not only make your smile more appealing, it can also improve your speech and pronunciation and restore chewing function by readjusting your bite to distribute chewing forces.
What Is the Dental Bridge Process?
A dental bridge procedure typically takes two visits to complete. During your first appointment, we will prepare your abutment teeth by removing an adequate amount of tooth enamel to make room for the temporary crowns we fit over them. We will then make an impression of your teeth that will be used as a model for your bridge when sent to our lab. While you are waiting for your permanent bridge to arrive from the lab, we will place a temporary bridge over your abutment teeth. At the second visit, we will remove your temporary crowns, check for proper fitting of your permanent crowns, and cement them into place.
Dental bridge procedures are common at Weissman Dental and provide many of our patients with a permanent restoration solution. If you have experienced tooth loss, call our office at (503) 274-2222 to schedule an appointment.