Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

4 Kinds Of Dental Bridges

by Wyatt Morgan

Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing or badly damaged teeth. Bridges are used to cover the space of a missing tooth and crowns are used to cap a damaged tooth or cover an implant. Most bridge types require crowns on adjacent teeth to support the bridge. Bridges are strong, long-lasting, and helpful in improving your smile and your bite.

Traditional Dental Bridges

Traditional bridges are currently the most popular type. Traditional bridges have fake teeth held in place by dental crowns cemented to neighboring teeth. These bridges can be very strong and a perfect when gaps aren't too large and healthy teeth exist on either side. However, one downside is that the adjacent teeth are prepared by removing their enamel so the crowns can be fitted. This means that those teeth will always need to be protected by crowns, even if the bridge is changed in the future.

Maryland Bridges

This bridge type is less aggressive than a traditional bridge. These bridges have the fake teeth supported by a framework that is glued to the backs of the adjacent teeth. Because this bridge doesn't require crowns, the supporting teeth aren't damaged and retain their natural protection. Unfortunately, strength is somewhat limited, as the bridge relies on the bonding agent without physical support. This can lead to the bridge moving or failing when high force is applied. Additionally, because the framework extends beyond the rear of the teeth, it may impact gums or bite.

Cantilever Bridges

Cantilever bridges are very similar to traditional bridges except instead of the fake teeth beyond supported on both side, they are only supported on one side. These can be installed where only one healthy tooth exists next to the gap. Similar to traditional bridges, the downside of damaging the supporting tooth remains. Additionally, because the bridge is only supported on one side, it may in some cases act as a lever when force is applied, leading to the supporting tooth's crown coming loose or the tooth becoming broken.

Implant-Supported Bridges

This type of bridge is a combination of dental implants and bridges. Instead of a bridge supported with natural teeth, these are actually supported by individual implants for each missing tooth. The crowns of each impact are then attached to each other to form a bridge.  This can be a great option when the gap is large, with many missing pieces or if the dentist is worried that too much pressure might be put on implant. The implant-support bridge spreads out the pressure, protecting the implants.

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