Dental Bridges

There are alternatives to replacing missing teeth besides dental implants. Come see us and learn how we can complete your smile with a dental bridge.

What are Dental Bridges?

When natural teeth fall out, there are options to replace them, including dental implants or a partial denture. There is a third option to replace missing teeth, and that’s with a fixed dental bridge.

Typically, we use a dental bridge when patients have fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. A bridge is also called a pontic, and it’s held in place by the abutment teeth. These abutment teeth are natural teeth or implants that help support or anchor the bridge on either side of the gap.

Bridges materials can vary depending on the location and structural needs of the tooth to be replaced. This can involve conservatively preparing one or both adjacent teeth similar to that of crowning teeth. For the false tooth pontic of the bridge, we typically use porcelain that’s colour-matched to blend in with your natural teeth.

Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth with a Dental Bridge

You should replace missing teeth for a number of reasons beyond restoring your smile. Your appearance is one reason but replacing a missing tooth helps you with more than cosmetic purposes. Leaving a gap from a missing tooth can create oral health issues you may not expect.
  • The gap left by a missing tooth can add greater strain on the teeth at either side.
  • A gap can also affect your bite. The teeth next to the vacant space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together.
  • Missing teeth affect your ability to properly distribute force when you chew, leading to additional oral health complications.
  • Food and bacteria can get packed into the gap, causing both decay and gum disease.
  • Missing teeth help prevent your remaining teeth from moving out of position. A gap gives the rest of your teeth room to reposition themselves over time.
  • When certain teeth fall out, it impacts your speech and pronunciation.

Types of Dental Bridges

There are four main types of bridges used in dental restorations.

1. Traditional Dental Bridge

A false tooth (or row of false teeth) is held in place by dental crowns. The crowns are cemented to the abutment teeth on either side of the gap. The traditional bridge is the most popular type. These bridges can be placed as long as there are natural teeth on either side of the gap.

2. Cantilever Dental Bridge

Similar to a traditional bridge, cantilever bridges only require a crown on one abutment tooth. These bridges need careful planning to ensure the bridge gets enough support to remain stable and in place.

3. Maryland Dental Bridge

This is another twist on the traditional dental bridge, using two natural abutment teeth. Using a framework of metal or porcelain, this bridge is bonded to the backs of the abutment teeth.

4. Implant-Supported Dental Bridge

Another popular option for bridgework, implant-supported bridges use dental implants instead of crowns or frameworks. In situations where there are several missing teeth in a row, we place an implant on each end of the bridge without requiring natural teeth. The implants hold the bridge securely in position.

As this option deals with an implant surgery as well as bridge treatment, this type of bridge can take several months to be completely finished.

How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last

We want our patient’s dental bridges to last a long time. During the treatment, we use the latest techniques and technologies to ensure a proper fit and exceptional result. The amount of time your bridge lasts depends on how you take care of it. By following our care advice, bridges can last up to 15 years before requiring a replacement.

Dental Bridge Home Care

Even false teeth need appropriate care. Proper dental hygiene adds to the longevity of a dental bridge. Caring for your new bridge impacts the health of the surrounding abutment teeth. Insufficient oral hygiene can lead to damage or decay, which may eventually become a serious complication. Follow these home care instructions to help your bridge maintain their appearance and last a long time:
  • Brush daily for two minutes with a soft bristled toothbrush
  • Floss once a day
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste and antiseptic mouth rinse
  • Stay on top of your regular dental check-ups
  • Avoid hard and sticky food items, sugary or acidic foods, and smoking/tobacco products

Replace Your Missing Teeth with a Dental Bridge

Our Essex dental practice is conveniently located in Brentwood on Rayleigh Road. Get in touch with us today to see if you are a candidate for a dental bridge. Gaining the smile you deserve is easier than you think.