Bridges Fill Gaps from Missing Teeth
Bridges in dentistry are used to fill in the gap or space from missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns on either side of the gap. The two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth and the bridge, or false teeth, go in between. There are four types of dental bridges: traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported bridges.
Types of Dental Bridges
A traditional bridge is the most common type of dental bridge when you have natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by your missing tooth. A false tooth is held in place by dental crowns that have been cemented onto the supporting existing teeth. Traditional bridges are typically used to restore molars and back teeth.
Cantilever bridges function like a traditional bridge, however, only one natural tooth next to the missing tooth is required to close the gap. Like traditional bridges, cantilever bridges are made of porcelain fused to metal. Cantilever bridges are typically used to restore front teeth, as they are not strong enough to support molars and back teeth.
Maryland Bonded Bridges
Maryland bonded bridges use a metal framework and porcelain wings that is bonded onto the backs of the supporting teeth. Maryland bridges are used to restore the front teeth as they are not strong enough to support the bite of back teeth and molars. Many patients who choose Maryland bonded bridges like that their natural teeth do not need to be altered to support the bond.
Implant-supported bridges use dental implants as opposed to crowns or frameworks. Implant-supported bridges are considered the strongest and most stable bridge system. Implant-supported bridges are best for patients with three or more missing teeth in a row. This is a surgical process and once the implant site has healed, the bridge will be positioned at a later appointment.
Dental Bridge Maintenance
Caring for your dental bridges is important to keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Avoid hard foods, ice, raw vegetables, and sticky candies, as these kinds of foods can dislodge or break your dental bridge. Treat your bridges like you would your own teeth and brush twice a day, floss and use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.