What Are Dental Bridges?

What Are Dental Bridges?

Apr 01, 2023

Missing teeth will leave unsightly gaps, which can taint any smile. A series of negative effects can cascade because of missing teeth. You will have to deal with poor dental aesthetics, pronunciation issues, trouble chewing, jawbone deterioration and much more. We offer dental bridges in Sunset Hills to replace missing teeth.

No longer should you brood over missing teeth when you can replace them. Dental technology has evolved so much that you can enjoy your smile even after losing teeth. Also, through the advancement of dental technology, our dentist in Sunset Hills, MO, can use several types of tooth bridges to replace missing teeth.

Bridges are a fantastic choice, especially if you don’t fancy partial removable dentures.

So, What Are Dental Bridges, and How Do They Work?

A dental bridge derives its name from its purpose. In other words, the dental prosthetic is designed to “bridge” the gap left when you lose a tooth. Our dentist recommends dental bridges since they correct functional and aesthetic issues.

So, for the bridge to enable you to chew, it consists of two main parts, a false tooth (pontics) and crowns. A typical crown will have two crowns attached to the false tooth. The false tooth is usually at the center, while the crowns are attached to each side of the false tooth.

The two crowns are necessary since they hold the false tooth in place. But for the dental bridge to function fully, a third component is required: your natural teeth. You will need two healthy teeth that are adjacent to the gap created by the missing tooth. The two teeth adjacent to the gap are referred to as abutment teeth.

These teeth are crucial since they are the ones to which the dental crowns on the bridge are bonded, thus securing the dental bridge. So, once the dental bridge is in place, the false tooth will cover the gap, whereas the two crowns will be anchored on the abutment teeth, one on each side.

The only downside is that your natural teeth (the two abutment teeth) must be prepped to create space for the dental crowns. Therefore, you have to be okay with our dentist filing down these two teeth, meaning some of the enamel will be removed, rendering the procedure irreversible.

Since dental bridges have evolved over the years, there are several options that you can choose from depending on your needs and preferences, such as:

  • Traditional Bridges

This is the typical dental bridge with one false tooth and two dental crowns on either side of the pontic. If you opt for this type of dental bridge, you must have strong and healthy abutment teeth. They are the best option when you need to replace back teeth.

  • Cantilever Bridges

The cantilever bridge is not so different from traditional bridges. But there is one difference between the two. Cantilever bridges only have one crown attached to the pontic (false tooth) as compared to two, which is characteristic of traditional bridges.

  • Maryland Bridges

Maryland bridges are quite different from the other bridges. They are a good alternative to traditional and cantilever bridges. The main feature that separates the Maryland bridges from the other two is that the false tooth is attached to a porcelain or metal framework. It eliminates the need for tooth crowns, which are used to hold the pontic in place.

The metal or porcelain framework will be used to attach the pontic to the adjacent teeth. So, there’s no need to prep the adjacent teeth.

How Long Does a Dental Bridge Last?

The lifespan of dental bridges near you depends on how you care for them daily. You must brush and floss your pearly whites without failure each day. Also, you must look out for other oral habits that might affect them, such as bruxism and chewing hard objects like ice.

However, you can expect the average lifespan of dental bridges to range between five and seven years. With proper care, dental bridges can last more than a decade.

Why Do I Need a Dental Bridge?

You might be wondering if there’s any good reason for you to get dental bridges. Check out the following:

  • Dental bridges can restore your smile, which will boost your self-confidence
  • They can last for a long time if cared for properly
  • They will help improve pronunciation
  • They are a permanent tooth replacement option
  • You will get to enjoy your meals since chewing will be restored
  • They stop teeth adjacent to the gap from shifting

The Bottom Line

Dental bridges are a worthy investment since you cannot put a price on a beautiful and functional smile. So, contact us at My STL Dentist to schedule an appointment if you have a missing tooth or teeth.

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