A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth. It consists of an artificial tooth or teeth, called pontics, supported by adjacent natural teeth or dental implants on either side of the gap. The natural teeth or implants that support the bridge are called abutments. At Oakland Smile Dental, dental bridges can be made from various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of materials. The choice of the bridge depends on factors such as the location of the missing teeth, the condition of the adjacent teeth, the patient's oral health, and their preferences.
Types of Dental Bridges
Traditional Dental Bridge
This is the most common type of dental bridge and consists of an artificial tooth or teeth held in place by dental crowns on the adjacent teeth. The adjacent teeth, known as abutment teeth, are prepared by removing a portion of their enamel to accommodate the dental crowns. The pontics fill the gap left by missing teeth, while the dental crowns are cemented onto the prepared abutment teeth to secure the bridge in place.
A cantilever bridge is used when only one adjacent tooth is available to support the bridge. It is similar to a traditional bridge but anchored to only one abutment tooth instead of two. This type of bridge is less common and is not recommended for areas with high biting forces, as it can place excessive stress on the supporting tooth.
Also known as a resin-bonded bridge or adhesive bridge, a Maryland bridge uses metal or porcelain wings on the backside of the adjacent teeth instead of dental crowns. The wings are bonded to the backside of the adjacent teeth, and the pontic fills the gap. Maryland bridges are primarily used in areas with minimal bite forces, such as the front teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
- Bridges restore the ability to chew and speak properly, improving oral function.
- Dental bridges improve the appearance of your smile by filling in gaps caused by missing teeth, enhancing your facial aesthetics.
- By filling the gap left by missing teeth, dental bridges prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting out of position, leading to bite problems and misalignment.
- Missing teeth can lead to bone loss and changes in facial structure over time. Dental bridges help maintain the shape and structure of your face by preserving the jawbone and surrounding tissues.
- Unlike removable dentures, dental bridges are fixed in place, eliminating the need for removal or adhesives.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of dental bridges, visit Oakland Smile Dental at 8105 Edgewater Dr. Suite 124, Oakland, CA 94621, or call (510) 924-7310.