Learn How Dental Bridges Work In Dentistry

Apr 01, 2021

The dental world has many different oral appliances that are used to help achieve the desired dental goals. While some are used to realign teeth and others to reshape, some are used to replace missing teeth.

In dental restoration procedures, you will hear your dentist mention different appliances for your treatment, including dental bridges.

What Are Dental Bridges?

They are appliances used to replace missing teeth. Oral bridges are mostly used to replace single missing teeth, as opposed to multiple teeth in a row. This is what differentiates them from dentures.

A tooth bridge features an artificial tooth to stand in for the lost one, and dental crowns to support the artificial tooth.

Types of Bridges in Dentistry

To understand how they work, you must first learn how oral bridges are made, by learning the different types there are:

  1. Traditional bridges – they feature a replacement tooth, usually called a pontic, and two dental crowns. For this appliance to work, you need to have two adjacent teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. The dental crowns will go over the two adjacent teeth, providing ample support to the pontic. This type of bridge is preferred for back teeth replacement because it is strong and can withstand the constant pressure of chewing.
  2. Cantilever bridges – are similar to traditional bridges. The only difference is that they feature one dental crown. This means that you would only require one adjacent tooth to support this bridge. While it is as effective as a traditional bridge, it may not be as strong or steady.
  3. Maryland bonded bridges – are different from the other two types because they are supported by a metal or porcelain framework instead of crowns. Ideally, the replacement tooth is supported on both sides like is the case of a traditional bridge, but by metal or porcelain framework, usually bonded to the backside of the artificial tooth. In this way, this type of bridge is not as strong, which is why it is mostly employed for replacing front teeth.
  4. Implant-supported bridges – if you are looking for a permanent result in your tooth replacement journey, these are the oral bridges to consider. Implant-supported bridges work well for patients who have multiple missing teeth in a row. In that case, you may not have any adjacent teeth to support the replacement tooth. Technically, an implant is placed for every missing tooth. If this demands many implants to be inserted in your jawbone, then an artificial replacement tooth is placed between two implants. However, dental crowns would still be needed to complete this type of oral bridge.

How Do Oral Bridges Work?

Regardless of the type of bridge you get, they all work the same way. The idea is to rely on adjacent teeth for support, as an artificial tooth is placed to replace the missing tooth.

The beautiful thing about this process is that the materials used to manufacture bridges are natural-looking. They can be matched to the look and feel of your natural teeth, regarding color, size, shape, and even luster. This means that you enjoy the functional as well as the cosmetic advantage of teeth bridges.

Do You Need Bridges?

Admittedly, there are several tooth replacement alternatives to consider in dentistry. Choosing dental bridges should come under the advisement of your dentist. As you make the decision, here are some important factors to note:

  1. Suitable for single-tooth replacement – when you have many of your teeth intact, you need a solution that can address your problem without the need to pull out any other of your natural teeth.
  2. Durable – bridges can last up to 10 years or more, depending on how well you care for them.
  3. Restoring the functionality of the mouth – without teeth, some functions like chewing and speaking are very difficult and sometimes impossible. Tooth bridges can help you regain the functionality of your mouth.
  4. Painless procedure – if you are not getting an implant installed, then you enjoy a pain-free treatment with oral bridges. There is no invasive surgery involved, which also means that you can enjoy a quick recovery after treatment.

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