If you’ve lost a tooth to an unfortunate accident or due to degrading oral health, don’t worry, you’re not alone. On average, about every American adult aged between 20 and 64 have lost at least one or more teeth.
The good news is that you’ve got plenty of options to have the missing teeth replaced. One of the most common ways to achieve that is to have a dentist install a dental bridge. But there are different kinds of dental bridges and some may not suit your particular needs and situation.
We have listed down the four most common types of dental bridges a dentist usually recommends. You can talk to a dentist to find out which suits you best or you can decide for yourself after reading how each functions.
Old School/Traditional Dental Bridges
Old school dental bridges or traditional bridges are the most common dental bridges. These bridges are made up of one or more fake teeth. They usually hold themselves in place by the dental crowns.
Dentists usually like to call them abutments and they are basically cemented into the teeth that are next to the missing tooth.
Traditional bridges are good to use when the missing tooth is surrounded by two healthy teeth. Bridges require strong adjacent teeth to replace the missing tooth hence you’ll need to have healthy adjacent teeth if you intend to go with this option.
The only drawback of these types of bridges is that the teeth next to the missing tooth require a lot of preparation by a dentist. Usually, this is achieved by removing the enamel of the crown to make room for the cemented top.
Enamel can never grow back once removed. This means that if you go for traditional bridges, these teeth will always have to be protected with crowns.
Maryland bridges are a good alternative to traditional bridges. These bridges are made with pontic that is held by a metal framework. The framework is placed on the back of the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth.
The good thing about these bridges is that they can be put on without removing the enamel since they don’t need to be held by crowns.
The downside of Maryland bridges is that they tend to hold together by the strength of the resin that holds them in place. In simple words, if the area of the mouth where these bridges are exposed to a lot of chewing and biting, they may not hold on their own for long.
Cantilever bridges are another common option to have your missing tooth or teeth replaced. They work a lot like traditional bridges. The only difference is that the fake teeth are supported with an abutment on only one side of the tooth rather than on both sides in the case of traditional bridges.
This is a good option if you want to have a missing tooth replaced that is supported by only one healthy tooth on one side.
Implant-supported bridges are best used when more than one tooth is missing. They are not supported with crowns, instead, a dentist plants an implant where the crown is then placed on the bridge.
The best thing about implant-supported bridges is that they feel very much like real teeth. They are held strongly on the jaw and act just like natural teeth. But that also means that these fake teeth will require the same oral care you give to your natural teeth.
The only downside is that the implants require you to go through two different surgeries. The first surgery will have the dentist place the implant while the second surgery will have the dentist place the bridge.
The process is also very long. It typically takes around five months to have your bridge installed properly.
If you’re missing a tooth, don’t worry. At Vitarelli Dental, we provide all types of bridges. Our Saddle River dentist office offers esthetic ceramic restorations that are a new choice for beauty and safety.
Get in touch with us today and we’ll let you know what your best options are.