Missing teeth can affect more than just the look of your smile. When you’ve lost one or a few teeth, day-to-day activities are interrupted, like being able to easily chew. It can also lead to changing the shape of your face if other teeth begin to move out of alignment. Our dentists at Singing River Dentistry use a dental bridge to help keep your smile in alignment and close any gaps made from missing teeth.
What is a Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is a device placed in the upper or lower half of your mouth to close gaps created by missing teeth. There are four types of dental bridges, but the basics are all the same. Dental bridges secure a replacement tooth with an abutment on the opposite side of the mouth. An abutment is a connection piece in a dental implant that holds the crown in place.
The primary use of a dental bridge is to “bridge” the gap, or close the gap, between missing teeth. These are necessary for a number of reasons ranging from physical changes of your mouth, like when the missing teeth cause your bite to get out of alignment to when you want cosmetic repairs like restoring the look and feel of your smile.
Traditional Dental Bridges
A traditional dental bridge is the most popular type of bridge used, but can only be used when you have natural teeth surrounding missing tooth. The replacement tooth is placed into the gap and is held in place by dental crowns, which are cemented into place on the two abutment teeth surrounding the gap of the missing tooth.
Cantilever Dental Bridge
The second type of dental bridge is the Cantilever. This type holds a pontic, or the artificial tooth, in place with dental crowns that are cemented to only one abutment tooth. Unlike traditional or Maryland dental bridges, only one natural tooth is required next to the gap made by the missing tooth.
Maryland Dental Bridge
A Maryland dental bridge requires two natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth’s gap, just like in a traditional dental bridge. However, unlike a traditional dental bridge, a Maryland bridge uses a framework rather than dental crowns to keep the bridge in place.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridge
The fourth and final type of dental bridge is the Implant-Supported Dental Bridge. Unlike the other types, a dental implant is used for every tooth that is missing, rather than crowns or frameworks. The implants themselves hold the bridge in position.
This is often considered the most durable system but will require two surgeries, one to place the dental implant and the second to place the bridge. While the most durable, it can take a few months for the entire process to be completed.
If you are suffering from problems caused by missing teeth call our team today at Singing River Dentistry at (256) 562-4001. Cosmetic changes to your teeth may help restore confidence to your smile, while the physical improvements created from dental bridges can help you get back to your routine lifestyle. Our professionals will work with you to find the perfect solution to restore and improve your smile and oral health.
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