Dental bridges are prosthetic dental restoration devices that help in replacing one or more missing teeth. They help you in the following manner:
- Replace missing teeth and improve the aesthetic value of your smile.
- Fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and improve your ability to chew and speak.
- Provide support to the facial contour and make you look younger.
- Improve the bite by evenly distributing the chewing and biting forces.
- Prevent the teeth adjacent to the gap from drifting away from their position.
Dental bridges are generally of two types:
1. Removable dental bridges
A removable dental bridge (known as a partial denture) is a dental prosthetic used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of one or more artificial teeth connected to a gum-colored base. The gum-colored base fits snugly over the gum tissues and the artificial teeth fill in the space left by missing teeth. They are held in place with metal clasps. As the name suggests, removable dental bridges can be taken in and out of the mouth according to a patient's will.
2. Fixed dental bridges
Fixed dental bridges are used to span or bridge the distance between teeth. They consist of artificial teeth (pontics) attached to crowns on either both or one side. The artificial teeth fill in the space left by missing teeth, while the crowns are attached to the teeth adjacent to the gap. The crowns strongly anchor the pontics in place and prevent them from moving. Fixed dental bridges are permanently cemented in place and can be removed only by a dentist.
What are the different types of fixed bridges?
There are four types of fixed dental bridges that your dentist will recommend. They are as follows:
1. Traditional dental bridges
Traditional dental bridges are the most commonly used type of bridge. They consist of artificial teeth or pontics attached to crowns on both the ends. Hence, traditional bridges are used in the cases when you have teeth present on both the sides of the gap. These adjacent teeth on either side of the gap are prepared and crowns or abutments (as they are known) are cemented on to them.
2. Cantilever dental bridges
Cantilever dental bridges consist of artificial teeth or pontics attached to crowns on only one side. Hence, cantilever bridges are used in the case when you have teeth present on only one side of the gap. So if there's only one natural tooth next to the gap, a bridge can still be secured. Like traditional bridges, the adjacent tooth is prepared and a crown is cemented in place.
3. Maryland dental bridges
Maryland dental bridges provide a conservative alternative to traditional dental bridges. They do not require the adjacent teeth to be prepared or filed down. Maryland bridges use a pontic that is held in place by a metal or porcelain framework. The framework is cemented on to the back of the adjacent teeth and the pontic is installed in place.
4. Implant-supported dental bridges
Implant-supported dental bridges are the best suited for replacing missing teeth. They are employed when you are missing multiple teeth. Instead of using metal frameworks and crowns for support, implant-supported bridges use titanium screws to stand steady in place. A titanium screw is surgically implanted in the jawbone for each missing tooth and an abutment is used to connect the titanium screw or dental implant to a bridge.
Implant-supported bridges are the best secured in place and feel the most comfortable and natural.
What are the advantages of fixed dental bridges?
Fixed dental bridges are preferred over removable dentures due to their numerous advantages. Below are some of the reasons why you should choose a fixed dental bridge.
- A fixed dental bridge is strongly and permanently anchored in place. It is extremely stable in its position and does not move. With fixed dental bridges, you don't have to worry about your dental restoration slipping or moving out of place. You can enjoy a life of full confidence and self-esteem.
- Since they are strongly anchored in place, fixed dental bridges do not move while talking and chewing. With them, you can enjoy a lisp-free speech and a better chewing ability.
- Implant-supported fixed bridges are held in position with the help of dental implants. One implant is surgically positioned in the jaw for each missing tooth. Thus, implant-supported fixed bridges not only replace the visible portion of the tooth but also its roots.
- Implant-supported fixed dental bridges prevent the underlying jawbone from receding and support the facial contour.
- They appear, feel, and function like natural teeth. You do not have to remove them from their place for maintaining or cleaning them. A regular oral care regime suffices.
At Jones and Hindbaugh Dental, the art and technology of modern dentistry are tactfully employed to systematically restore the damage and improve the cosmetic appeal of your smile. Dr. Erica Hindbaugh Jones' and Dr. Russel Jones specialize in creating a coordinated treatment plan to give you a complete smile makeover. Book an appointment with us today for a more youthful and healthy smile.