Dental bridges are a type of permanent dental appliance that is used to replace missing teeth. The bridge is made of one or more artificial teeth and an abutment that the teeth attach to hold the teeth in place. The way the bridge is installed in the mouth often depends on how many missing teeth need to be replaced. These are the different types of dental bridges that are used to replace missing teeth.
Traditional bridges are the most common type of dental bridge used for replacing missing teeth. These bridges are installed when the patient has either a healthy natural tooth on each side of the missing tooth or has had dental implant abutments installed to hold the bridge in place. The bridge will have a full artificial tooth in the middle that fits into the empty space in the gums and a crown on each side that is fitted over the natural teeth or the implants. Once the bridge is installed the artificial tooth and two artificial dental crowns will look and feel like the patient's natural teeth.
This type of dental bridge is often used when the patient needs only one missing tooth replaced. It consists of an artificial tooth with a metal wing on each side. The tooth is fitted into the empty space between two natural teeth and then the metal wings are attached to the back of each natural tooth using dental cement to hold the tooth tightly in place. Maryland bridges are most commonly used for replacing a missing tooth in the front of the mouth. Often this bridge has a metal tooth that has been coated with porcelain to give it a more natural appearance while also making it more durable.
If a patient needs only one or two teeth replaced, there is also the option of having a composite bridge installed. This involves the dentist using a composite material to actually create the artificial tooth. The composite is put directly into the empty space in the gums to replace the missing tooth. The dentist then uses special dental tools and their own skills to shape the composite material to look like a natural tooth. The composite is bonded to the gum and also has a ribbon of bonding that attaches to the natural tooth next to it to hold it in place. Some patients prefer this method of replacing a missing tooth because it is less expensive and can often be completed in one dental visit.
If a patient has several missing teeth, there is the option of having dental implants installed to attach the bridges in place. However, this will require having one or possibly two dental surgeries to complete.
For more information on dental bridges, reach out to a company like Crestwood Dental Care.