What Are Dental Bridges? Here’s What You Should Know

What Are Dental Bridges? Here’s What You Should Know

Dec 01, 2020

Having missing teeth is nothing new. Many Americans have missing teeth because of accidents or infections. Old age is no longer the leading cause of tooth loss: gum disease and tooth decay take the lead.

Regardless of how you have lost your teeth, dental bridges in Wellesley, MA, are a quick and effective solution to missing teeth. Teeth bridges have been used way before dental implants came into the picture. As an option that we offer within general dentistry in Wellesley, MA, dental bridges have changed countless smiles.

Dental technology has evolved, and now dental bridges are way better than before. Dental bridges are an excellent teeth replacement option.

Understanding Dental Bridges

Just as the name suggests, this dental prosthetic is designed to “bridge” the gap where your missing tooth once occupied. Besides restoring the aesthetic appeal of your smile, dental bridges in Wellesley, MA, can be used to keep the remaining adjacent natural teeth intact. This is important because when there is a gap, the remaining teeth tend to move, and therefore, you will start developing other dental issues such as loose teeth or a misaligned bite.

A typical bridge is designed to have two main parts:

  • pontic, which is also known as the false tooth
  • Two dental crowns that are attached to the false tooth on either side

The false tooth is the one that occupies the space created by the missing tooth, and the two crowns on either side are designed to offer stability to the pontic (false tooth). For the false teeth to work, they have to rely on your teeth located on either side of the gap for anchorage. In this case, your natural teeth are referred to as the abutment teeth.

In other words, the crowns cover the adjacent natural teeth, thus permanently holding the pontic in place. However, some of the enamel has to be chiseled off for the crowns to fit appropriately.

The pontic can be fashioned from a variety of materials, including gold, alloys, ceramic, or a combination of specific materials.

Types of Dental Bridges

Here are the typical types of dental bridges:

  • Conventional Bridges

These are bridges that are widely known and used. This fixed bridge comprises one or more pontics or false teeth and is attached to crowns.

For these bridges to give you the desired result, you need to have sturdy adjacent teeth, which are the anchors. The fixed bridge is sturdy enough to replace your back teeth. They are made from porcelain fused to metal.

To receive this treatment, our dentist in Wellesley, MA, will prepare your abutment teeth by shaving off some enamel. This procedure is permanent, and you cannot reverse it since enamel doesn’t grow back.

  • Porcelain Bridges

The all-porcelain bridge is primarily used for cosmetic purposes and is more suited for replacing your front teeth. Consider them as the more appealing version of the traditional bridges.

  • Cantilever Bridges

The cantilever bridge resembles the conventional bridge with a minor change. Instead of having two crowns on both sides of the false tooth, it has one. They are an excellent choice when you only have one abutment tooth that is adjacent to the gap.

However, bear in mind that the false tooth is held in place with only one crown. This means that the crown acts as a lever, which can cause some damage to the natural tooth.

  • Maryland Bridges

These bridges are similar to traditional bridges. However, they are slightly different from conventional bridges in that they have one false tooth (pontic) attached to a metal or porcelain framework. This means that it doesn’t need crowns to hold the false tooth in place. Thus, your enamel will not be removed.

The disadvantage is that they are not as sturdy and cannot withstand chewing forces; therefore, they are not the right choice for replacing molars.

  • Implant-Supported Bridges

These bridges are an excellent option if you want to replace several missing teeth. Instead of using your natural teeth as abutment teeth, they use dental implants for anchorage. They are comfortable and secure and feel like your natural teeth.

How Long Do Bridges Last?

Dental bridges in Wellesley, MA, can last over 15 years. The essential thing is that you have to take proper care of them to get the most out of them. This means that you have to maintain excellent oral hygiene and visit our dentist in Wellesley, MA, regularly.

If you are considering getting dental bridges, contact our dentist at Wellesley Dental Arts!

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