Dental Bridges: What are They and Why Do You Need One?

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If you have one or more missing teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease or injury, custom-made dental bridges are used to fill the gap. Dental bridges are made by placing crowns on either side of the missing tooth (or teeth), which support a false tooth that is then cemented in place. This procedure restores the look and function of your missing teeth by bridging the gap.

Dental Bridges: What are They and Why Do You Need One?

To get a dental bridge, the teeth on either side must be healthy. A missing tooth is unsightly, but there are other reasons why getting a dental bridge placed is so important. If one or more of your teeth are missing, nearby teeth can move into the empty space, which may result in chewing difficulties, bite problems and pain. There are four different types of dental bridges.

  • Fixed Bridge. This type of bridge is the most widely used and is made of metal, ceramics or porcelain fused to metal. The crowns on either side support a false tooth that is permanently cemented in place.
  • Implant-Supported Bridge. This type of bridge does not need support from the surrounding teeth and is attached to metal posts that are surgically implanted into your jawbone.
  • Cantilever Bridge. This type of bridge is an option for those who have teeth on only one side of the gap because the false tooth connects to only one adjacent tooth.
  • Resin-Bonded Bridge (Maryland Bridge). This type of bridge may be used for those who have missing front teeth and is made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramic. The false teeth are supported by a framework that has wings on each side that bond to your existing teeth.

Good oral hygiene is critical because a bridge can become loose if the support teeth or the jawbone are allowed to deteriorate from dental disease. If you have missing teeth and think that dental bridges may be an option for you, please contact us at the office of Paul D. Nifong, Jr., DDS today.