What are Dental Bridges?
Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by a dentist. Crowns are used most commonly to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth or cover an implant. Bridges are commonly used to cover a space if you’re missing one or more teeth. They are cemented to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the tooth once stood.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Bridges?
- Restore your smile
- Restore the ability to properly chew and speak
- Maintain the shape of your face
- Distribute the forces in your bite properly by replacing missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
What Types of Dental Bridges Are Available?
There are three main types of dental bridges:
- Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
- Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common any more and is not recommended in the back of the mouth where it can put too much force on other teeth and damage them.
- Maryland bonded bridges (also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge) are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings often on just one side of the bridge are bonded to your existing teeth.
How to care for Dental Bridges
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown is to practice good oral hygiene.
- Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily
- See your dentist or hygienist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings
- To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects