Dental Bridges in Stafford, VA
If you’ve suffered from severe tooth decay or gum disease that resulted in missing teeth, you’ve probably heard of a dental bridge as a possible solution. Dental bridges fill or bridge the gap caused by the loss of teeth. This is just one possible solution for missing teeth, so consult a dentist to determine if a bridge is the right option for you.
What is a Dental Bridge?
As we mentioned, a dental bridge closes the gap between missing teeth by anchoring a false tooth or teeth called pontics to the surrounding teeth, called abutment teeth. Each dental bridge has at least these two parts.
Crowns are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap. The new artificial tooth or teeth anchors to these surrounding teeth and the abutment provides support needed to secure the new tooth in the mouth.
These are the new artificial teeth that fill the gap where a natural tooth went missing. They are attached to the crowns on the abutment teeth.
Missing teeth can cause many problems in the mouth such as discomfort, pain, and changes in speech or eating patterns. Luckily, dental bridges can help alleviate these issues by filling the gap where the missing teeth once were. Consider dental bridges to:
- Prevent remaining teeth from moving into the gap
- Return speech patterns to normal
- Remove discomfort when chewing
- Improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional: This is the most popular type of dental bridge. This type is made from metal, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramic, and consists of one or more pontics connected to crowns on the surrounding abutment teeth.
Cantilever: This is a one-sided type of dental bridge where the pontic only connects to one abutment tooth. This is typically used for people with natural teeth on only one side of the gap where the missing tooth was.
Maryland: Common for missing teeth in the front of the mouth, this porcelain fused to metal or ceramic material bridge is supported by wings on each side of the pontic that bond to your existing teeth.
Implant Supported: This is the same as a traditional bridge but is supported by implant teeth instead of natural teeth.
Bridges vs. Implants
Bridges and implants are both treatment options for missing teeth, but they have a few differences. The main difference being that implants permanently attach a fake tooth to your jaw bone and are not supported by the surrounding teeth.
Implants are typically more durable than bridges. They also solve more dental health issues such as reducing bone loss. However, getting implants is a costly procedure, and can only be done one tooth at a time. Bridges are a more common solution if multiple teeth are missing, as it is much more cost effective.
Bridges, however, do place strain on the teeth surrounding them so it’s important to either have healthy teeth or implants on either side of the bridge. They are also slightly less durable than implants and will most likely have to be replaced in your lifetime.