Are you tired of living with a missing tooth? You can fill that gap with a dental bridge.
So much of your oral and overall health depends on having a complete set of teeth. Losing one or more teeth compromises your ability to speak and chew. The shape of your face may change, and the teeth surrounding the missing one may shift out of place. And that’s in addition to feelings of self-consciousness about a noticeable gap in your smile.
Luckily, your dentist can employ several solutions to give you back your smile and fill in that gap. You’ve probably already heard of one of the most often-used techniques — a dental bridge. But you may not know there are several different types of dental bridges, which we will detail below.
The four types of dental bridges
A dental bridge replaces the missing tooth or teeth with a prosthetic tooth, or pontic. The pontic is typically made of porcelain and tinted to match your natural tooth color. The bridge holds the pontic in place and is secured to an abutment tooth, or a natural tooth on either side or both sides of the missing tooth.
Your dentist will recommend one of these four types of bridges. Each differs in how the bridge is secured to the abutment teeth.
Traditional. A traditional bridge is the most common type. It locks to your adjacent natural teeth, so you’ll need two healthy teeth on both sides of the gap. Before a traditional bridge is placed, the abutment teeth will be fitted with crowns. Keep in mind that you will lose some enamel to make way for the crown.
Cantilever. If you have only one healthy abutment tooth next to the missing tooth, your dentist will use a cantilever bridge to secure the pontic. Because the bridge is affixed to only one tooth, this type of bridge is less secure than a traditional model.
Maryland bridges. A Maryland bridge uses porcelain and metal bands cemented to the backs of the nearby natural teeth to hold the pontic in place. Although not as durable as traditional bridges, Maryland bridges are a good alternative for filling in missing front teeth.
Implant-supported bridges. Instead of crowns, the bridge is secured to dental implants. For every missing tooth, one implant is placed. Implant-supported bridges are considered the strongest of all types, but you’ll need to undergo implant surgery before the bridge is completed. The process could take several months.
Caring for a dental bridge
Your dental bridge can last up to 10 years. But it will only last that long if you practice good oral hygiene! Keeping the teeth surrounding the bridge healthy is essential. If those teeth decay, your bridge will be much less secure, and you may need a new one.
Remember to brush and floss daily, and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup on the teeth and gums. While you may want whiter teeth, avoid using harsh whitening pastes that could damage the bridge.
In addition, clean underneath your bridge every so often. After brushing and flossing, use a floss threader, dental pick, or an interproximal brush to clear away food particles between your bridge and gums. Your dentist can show you how and recommend products to use.
With a dental bridge, you won’t ever remember you had a missing tooth!
Espire Dental restores smiles
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Casper, Wyoming, location today! Our highly trained dentists can fit you with a dental bridge to restore your smile today. Don’t live near our Wyoming office? Find one of our other locations near you.
1530 Centennial Ct.
Casper, WY 82609