Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges.

A dental bridge consists of a pontic or false tooth, which helps to keep close the spaces left by extracted teeth. They are used to replace missing teeth in the oral cavity.

Not only do they serve to complete their functionality, but they also serve to restore the desired esthetic appearance. This gives you the advantage of being able to speak, eat, and smile as you would with your natural teeth.

There are several materials that dental bridges can be made of, among them are gold or porcelain. Each material is used, according to what the patient needs at the moment.

Dental bridges are permanent restorations that replace the missing tooth in the mouth. They mimic to perfection what is required of a natural tooth, and are custom-made according to each patient’s needs.

How do dental bridges work?

If you are missing a tooth or more than one tooth, your dentist will suggest the use of dental bridges. It is necessary to cover the missing spaces between the teeth since, with time, the other teeth will most likely rotate into those spaces, which can lead to periodontal disease or some type of disorder within the oral cavity.

When the dental bridge is placed, the dentist will cement the bridges to those natural teeth that are around or near the empty spaces. These teeth, also known as abutments, will function as anchors for the bridge. Then, the dentist will proceed to place the tooth or dental bridge in the space.

What are the types of dental bridges?

  1. Traditional dental bridges:

These types of dental bridges are the best known and most popular. They consist of bridges formed by one or more false teeth, allowing dental crowns to fix them.

Traditional dental bridges are used in cases where there are natural teeth on either side of the space. These bridges can replace molars, as they are very strong. When it comes to the procedure of placing this dental bridge, the dentist will proceed to shape the other teeth and also the false tooth, which will allow the crown to fit perfectly. This type of dental bridge tends to last longer and be very strong, hand in hand with the care provided by the patient. These bridges tend to be used mostly on molars and premolars. In order for the patient to have traditional dental bridges placed, the dentist will remove the enamel from the teeth that function as abutments to prepare the area for the crowns that will be cemented on top of them.

  1. Cantilever dental bridges:

Cantilever dental bridges tend to be very similar to traditional dental bridges, but their difference is that the false tooth, or pontic, will be attached to only one tooth or abutment. The cantilever dental bridge will be held in place by a dental crown that will be cemented to the abutment tooth. This type of cantilever bridge will have a dental crown placed over the damaged tooth. In general, cantilever bridges are used mostly on front teeth, as they tend not to be strong enough to hold back teeth or molars.

  1. Maryland dental bridges:

Maryland dental bridges consist of a false tooth or pontic, which is supported by a metal or porcelain framework, which is bonded to the back of the teeth that function as abutments. Maryland dental bridges use two teeth, one on each side of the gap. Dental bridges are used when there are daps due to missing teeth. This type of dental bridge is bonded with resin and is often used to replace front teeth.

  1. Supported dental bridges:

Supported dental bridges are those dental bridges that are supported by dental implants rather than crowns. Dental implants are placed in the space where the tooth should go through a surgical procedure in which they are embedded in the jawbone. The bridge that has false teeth or pontics will be placed on top of the implants. This type of bridge is mostly used for posterior teeth (molars or premolars) and is especially for patients who are missing teeth in a row. Normally this type of bridge requires the first surgery to embed the implant to the jawbone, and another surgery to place the required bridge.

Advantages of dental bridges.

Dental bridges are made through a process that allows the restoration of missing teeth so that the patient can regain full functionality and aesthetics.

Dental bridges improve the appearance of the smile by restoring damaged teeth. They also allow the person who had one or more teeth missing to fully recover the way of speaking normally. The dental bridge will allow the patient to chew and eat in a completely normal way.

Aesthetically speaking, dental bridges will fill those missing spaces with pieces of the exact color, thus helping the patient’s self-esteem to grow and feel more self-confident.

Dental bridges prevent other teeth from moving, thus avoiding problems with biting. Dental bridges can help keep the easy structure intact, helping to prevent bone loss in the jaw. With dental bridges, the patient can chew food normally and efficiently.

Dental bridges are very easy to maintain, as only a typical oral cleaning, which requires tooth brushing and flossing, is needed.

Disadvantages of dental bridges.

Despite the many advantages of dental bridges, there are a few disadvantages.

Because the bridge has to fit in the space between the other teeth, the other teeth that function as abutments can be affected and can be damaged after the dental bridge has been fitted in place. If the bridge is poorly fitted to the crown, bacteria can enter through the gaps and infect this tooth with decay.

If the teeth that function as abutments are not strong enough, the dental bridge can collapse. This generates a series of additional problems, which can worsen the clinical case.

If there is damaged to the abutment teeth, it can cause the bridge to become compromised. Crowns can also change the structure of the teeth and can impair the bite. It is also possible that the teeth that function as abutments may weaken, making it necessary to replace them with implants.

How do you know if you need dental bridges?

You can find out if you need dental bridges if you are missing one or more teeth. To be eligible to be a candidate for dental bridges, you must have good oral health and hygiene. To be able to place the dental bridge, it is necessary that the other teeth, which function as abutments, are healthy, and must be strong and resistant enough to hold the dental bridge. It is recommended that the patient does not suffer from very serious general conditions. And after the dental bridges have been placed, the patient should visit the dentist for regular check-ups.

Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants.

Many times, when faced with the loss of a tooth, and the new task of replacing that lost tooth, the patient may ask himself: what is better for me? Dental crowns or dental bridges? This doubt is very frequent due to the lack of knowledge on the subject.

Although both fulfill the need to replace the missing tooth and recover the full functionality of the dental pieces, both have a series of advantages and disadvantages, according to what the patient requires.

In general terms, it can be said that dental implants can be a better option than bridges, but each patient is different, and it is necessary to work according to what each one needs.

If we talk about hardness, resistance, and duration, it can be said that a dental implant is more recommended, since it not only replaces the crown (which is the visible part of the tooth), but also the root, which gives greater resemblance to the substitute tooth, of the natural tooth. And it is not necessary for dental implants to require other teeth as abutments, as in the case of dental bridges.

On the other hand, dental implants also provide the patient’s teeth with a much more natural smile, compared to dental crowns. However, zirconium dental bridges can provide the desired strength and appearance.

When having to grind the adjacent teeth, there is a risk of damaging these healthy teeth, however, with dental implants, it is not necessary to grind them, and therefore the other teeth are not at risk.

About the cost of dental bridges.

In order to determine with sufficient certainty, the cost of dental bridges, it is first necessary to see how many dental pieces are needed to fill the spaces needed. What type of materials are used, whether zirconium, resin, or metal. It is also necessary to analyze the difficulty of the intervention since there are many patients with more complicated or simpler cases than others. Before placing dental bridges, the dentist must make sure that the patient does not have problems with other teeth or periodontal disease, and if this is the case, it should be treated.

It is appropriate to clarify that dental bridges can be much cheaper than dental implants, however, as we saw before, the advantages of dental implants can be more.

Before making a decision, you should see your dentist, who will show you the range of options, taking into account your needs.