If you have a missing tooth or teeth then you know how difficult it can be. Not only do they affect your beautiful smile, but they can also make it difficult to enjoy the foods you love. Fortunately, dental bridges can restore both your radiant smile and your ability to enjoy your favorite foods again.
Dental bridges are replacement teeth that are anchored by your adjacent teeth. There are three main types of bridges — traditional, Maryland, and cantilever. Bridges are often covered by insurance, making them preferable to other alternatives. Proper oral care and dental visits can help your bridge last up to 15 years before having to be replaced.
What are dental bridges?
A ceramic dental bridge replaces a missing tooth or teeth and fills in any gaps in your smile. They are false teeth (pontics) held in place by your abutment teeth that surround the missing tooth. An abutment tooth helps distribute and relieve the pressure put on either side of the gap. In this way, your natural teeth on either side work to help support and hold the bridge in place.
Are you interested in more ways to brighten your smile? Check out What Is Cosmetic Dentistry to learn how!
3 Types of Dental Bridges
The type of dental bridge you get will depend on your specific needs. Longer-lasting fixed bridges come in three main types. Our team will assess your specific needs and problems to find the solution that works best to restore your smile’s functionality and beauty.
Traditional Dental Bridge
Traditional bridges are the most common type of dental bridge and are ideal for when a missing tooth is surrounded by two natural teeth. They are held in place by dental crowns that are cemented onto the adjacent teeth.
Maryland Dental Bridge
Maryland dental bridges resemble the traditional type by using your surrounding teeth to hold them in place. Unlike traditional bridges, Maryland bridges use either a resin (resin-bonded bridge) or a metal framework on the back of the surrounding teeth to achieve a secure fit.
Cantilever Dental Bridge
If you’re missing a molar then a Maryland bridge won’t do the trick. Fortunately, cantilever bridges are here to fill that gap. In this case, the crown is cemented to only one of your natural teeth to help restore your ability to chew and enjoy the foods you love.
Dental Bridges vs. Implants
You have multiple options if you want to replace missing teeth. Along with bridges, dental implants are also a solid choice to restore the look and function of your teeth. Unfortunately, permanent dental implants aren’t covered by many dental insurers, making bridges the preferred solution for many patients.
Read Dental Implants — Your Biggest Questions Answered to learn more!
Caring for Dental Bridges
On the bright side, dental bridges can last a long time with proper oral care. Make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice per day to help prevent tooth decay. Flossing is also important to remove bacteria from between your teeth to prevent gum disease. Good habits like brushing and flossing will protect your teeth and gums, ensuring your dental bridges have healthy anchor points to prolong their lives.
It’s also essential to go to your regular dental appointments for cleanings and checkups. This will further help prevent tooth loss due to tooth decay and gum disease. With proper oral care, your bridge can last for about 15 years before it needs to be replaced.
Dental bridges are a great option for replacing missing teeth. Traditional, Maryland, and cantilever bridges affix to surrounding teeth to restore your ability to smile confidently and chew comfortably. They’re a popular alternative to other tooth replacement options since they’re usually covered by insurance. They can last for around 15 years with good oral care.
Are you interested in fixing your missing teeth? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
My Family Dentistry is open Monday through Thursday and every other Friday. Give us a call at (865) 947-6453 or you can schedule an appointment online.