If you are one of the nearly 180 million American adults who are suffering from premature loss of one of your permanent, adult teeth, then you have most likely spent some time considering your treatment options for your tooth loss. While there are many different methods out there that can help address the loss of a tooth, not every procedure is going to be an ideal fit for everybody.
However, if you are looking for something more reliable and durable than a partial denture, but you are not interested in surgery for a dental implant, then you may be a good candidate for a fixed dental bridge. We here at Boones Landing Dental Center strongly believe that dental bridges can be a fantastic option for many of our patients, giving them a long-lasting and attractive restoration for their missing tooth.
Reasons for a Fixed Bridge
Fill space of missing teeth
Maintain facial shape
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
Restore chewing and speaking ability
Restore your smile
Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance
What is a Fixed Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge is a type of restoration that can provide you with a durable, long-lasting, and reliable replacement for your lost tooth. It is a fantastic option for many patients, allowing them to have a better quality of life. Not only can it improve the appearance of their smile, but it can also improve their bite force, reduce any pain and discomfort they may feel when eating, and make it easier to speak clearly.
Three Varieties of Dental Bridges
There are currently three main varieties of dental bridges you may encounter. The most used type of dental bridge used currently is called a traditional bridge. This type of bridge consists of two dental crowns, one on either side of the bridge. These crowns cover your natural tooth, providing the dental bridge with support and structure. The crowns support the restoration, which is called a pontic.
Another type of bridge is called the cantilever bridge. This bridge is less common and less popular than a traditional bridge. One of the main reasons that this type of bridge may be used is if there is no tooth on the other side of the vacated space. This may be used for back molars, for instance. They are similar to traditional bridges in that they require a crown over a natural tooth and a pontic, but instead of using two crowns, a cantilever bridge uses just one crown. However, cantilever bridges are not as reliable as traditional bridges. They can also put a lot of strain and pressure on the tooth that has the crown, potentially endangering it.
Finally, a third option for some patients may be the Maryland bridge. This type of bridge is very different than cantilever and traditional bridges. Instead of using a crown, the pontic is instead bonded to the back of the supporting teeth. These are not as strong as the other two types of bridges, which means that their usage is limited more toward the front teeth.
Bridges vs. Implants
Bridges are highly durable and will last many years with proper home care; however, they may need to be replaced or re-cemented due to normal wear, and will likely not last as long as a restorative solution like dental implants. That said, there is another option that combines the best of both options, and that is known as an implant-retained bridge. This type of restoration uses dental implants to anchor the bridge to your jaw, leaving a more permanent and durable solution.
For many of our patients, a fixed dental bridge can be exactly what they need to restore both their confidence and their smile. If you would like to learn more about dental bridges, or you are ready to set up an appointment with us here at Boones Landing Dental Center, please give us a call today at (503) 601-0610!