An Introduction to Dental Bridges

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introduction to dental bridges

Dental bridges are a long-standing and highly effective solution for replacing one or multiple adjacent missing teeth. Your dentist can close a gap left behind by missing teeth by building a bridge between two healthy teeth (called abutment teeth) and placing one or more replacement teeth (called pontics) in the “span” of the bridge. In most cases, the bridge is anchored by and attached to the abutment teeth using crowns (though there are alternatives that we’ll touch on below). Those crowns and the pontics that fill the gap(s) left behind by missing teeth are usually made from porcelain. Porcelain is an ideal material for replacing artificial teeth and constructing crowns because of its durability, stain resistance and ability to be formed and tinted to resemble the colour, texture and lustre of healthy tooth enamel.

The benefits of a dental bridge

There are six primary benefits of obtaining dental bridges in Okotoks that cross the spectrum between restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Those benefits are:

  • A bridge restores your smile by filling gaps left by missing teeth
  • Dental bridges from a dental clinic in Okotoks restore a great deal of lost chewing and eating ability
  • If losing teeth caused the loss of some ability to speak clearly or to pronounce certain words or sounds, replacing those teeth with a bridge may restore that ability
  • The crowns that anchor the bridge in place also help to hold the abutment teeth in position so they do not pivot or shift into the gaps left behind by missing teeth
  • The pontics supported by the bridge lend support and structure to the face’s soft tissues
  • Biting and chewing forces that may have been distributed unevenly will be redistributed more efficiently once a bridge is in place

Four types of bridges

Conventional bridges are those described above, meaning they are anchored to and supported by abutment teeth with crowns. Fitting those crowns over those abutment teeth does require the alteration of the abutment teeth by the removal of some enamel. That need to alter healthy natural teeth at the increased risk of tooth decay and structural weakness is the primary disadvantage of a dental bridge.

Cantilever bridges are identical to conventional bridges except they are anchored and supported by just one abutment tooth and crown.

Maryland dental bridges are supported by two abutment teeth, but not via crowns. Instead, the structural support for a Maryland bridge is bonded to the back of the abutment teeth.

Implant-supported bridges do not require any support from any natural teeth with the result that no natural teeth need to be altered to accommodate an implant-supported bridge. Implant-supported bridges are attached to titanium implants that are screwed directly into your jaw. An implant-supported bridge is the most stable of the options for dental bridges near you.

While implant-supported bridges do not require the alteration of any natural teeth, they still require the most invasive set of procedures due to the need to surgically implant titanium posts into your jaw and to await the fusion of those posts with your bone tissue over several months before proceeding further. As a result, obtaining implant-supported dentures from a dental clinic in Okotoks is the most expensive and time-consuming option discussed here.

The flexibility of dental bridges as a solution for tooth loss means that they are a feasible solution for many people in one format or another. Whether you are looking to replace one or multiple teeth and whether or not you are open to modifying your natural teeth to provide the necessary support, there are dental bridge options available for your consideration. To determine if any of those options are right for your needs, contact a dentist near you for an assessment.