What is a Dental Bridge?
If you have one or more missing teeth, a dental bridge may be a good solution to restore the stability of your dentition and to bring back your smile. In this article, we will discuss what a dental bridge is, the different types of dental bridges available, and when they might be used.
A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of two or more dental crowns that are placed over the remaining teeth on either side of the gap, called abutment teeth, and an artificial tooth, called a pontic, that fills the gap between them. Dental bridges are a great alternative to dental implants and dentures for those who prefer a non-surgical option for tooth replacement.
Different types of Dental Bridges
There are several different types of dental bridges available, including:
- Conventional Dental Bridge: this is the most common type of bridge and is typically used when there are natural teeth on both sides of the gap. These teeth (abutments) are prepared to receive crowns, placed on either side of the gap, and the pontic crown fills the gap between them.
- Maryland Dental Bridge: A Maryland dental bridge, also known as a resin-bonded bridge, is a type of bridge that is bonded to the back of the abutment teeth using a resin adhesive. This type of bridge is typically used for front teeth and may not be suitable for larger gaps or areas with heavy biting forces.
- Cantilever Dental Bridge: A cantilever dental bridge is like a traditional bridge but is supported by only one abutment tooth instead of two. This type of bridge is typically used when there is only one natural tooth adjacent to the gap.
- Implant-Supported Dental Bridge: An implant-supported dental bridge is like a traditional bridge but is supported by dental implants instead of natural teeth. This type of bridge is typically used when there are no natural teeth adjacent to the gap or when the adjacent teeth are not strong enough to support a bridge.
When might a Dental Bridge be used?
A dental bridge may be used to replace one or more missing teeth and can provide several benefits, including:
- Improved stability, preventing the surrounding teeth from migrating or rotating
- Improved speech and chewing function
- Improved appearance and self-esteem
- Improved oral health
Your dentist will determine if a dental bridge is the right choice for your individual needs and may recommend a specific type of bridge based on factors such as the location of the missing tooth, the condition of your remaining teeth, and your overall oral health.
What are Dental Bridges made of?
Dental bridges are made of a variety of materials, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are the most common materials used in dental bridges:
- Zirconia: the new zirconias are amazing as they resemble natural teeth in colour and texture and require much less tooth reduction than the previous type of bridges. They allow dentists to solve the problem of a missing tooth ensuring that the abutment teeth are not damaged during the process.
- Metal Alloys: Metal alloys, such as gold or silver, are strong and durable and can withstand heavy biting forces. However, they are obviously not aesthetic.
- Lithium dissilicate (emax): these glass porcelains can be very aesthetic, however they are not as strong as zirconia.
Your dentist will help you choose the best material for your dental bridge based on factors such as your budget, the location of the missing tooth, and your overall oral health.
Proper care and maintenance of your dental bridge are essential to ensure that it lasts for many years. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions for brushing and flossing around your bridge, and schedule regular check-ups to monitor its condition. With proper care, a dental bridge can provide a long-lasting and natural-looking solution for missing teeth.
If you are interested in learning more about dental bridges and how they can benefit you, contact our team at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic. Our experienced dental professionals can help you determine if a dental bridge is the right choice for your needs and help guide you through the treatment process.
ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Clinically reviewed by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl
Written by: Dr Raul Costa
About the author:
Dr Raul Costa is a restorative dentist with a unique set of skills for dental aesthetics and a drive for ultra-conservative techniques. He qualified from the Lisbon Dental School in 2005 and has been practicing in London since 2008. He works with world-renowned ceramists in order to deliver natural-looking, life-like, crowns and veneers. He is also particularly talented and experienced with composite bondings and implant-supported restorations.