What are different dental bridge types and materials
If you have missing teeth, your dentist can either close or bridge the gaps of the teeth in your mouth and give you a pleasing smile. A dental bridge is a prosthetic tooth that is held in place by the abutment teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental bridges are an alternative to partial dentures. They serve both practical and aesthetic purposes, enabling you to eat and speak better as well as restoring your teeth's appearance.
When is a Dental Bridge Necessary?
Almost 70 percent of adults between 35 and 44 years of age have lost at least one tooth from gum disease, an injury, tooth decay, or a failed root canal.
Most dentists recommend bridges over implants if the patient already has existing dental crowns on the abutment (supporting) teeth. They may also recommend a dental bridge if you cannot get implants for medical reasons.
Types of dental bridges
Some of the most common types of dental bridges in that are used in modern dentistry are: Traditional Bridges, Cantilever Bridges, Maryland Bridges and Implant Supported Bridges.
Traditional Dental Bridges
Traditional bridges are the most popular types of dental bridges. They are used when your natural teeth surround a missing tooth or gap on both sides. These bridges consist of one or more false teeth that are held in place by two abutment teeth which means the two teeth are natural teeth that are covered by dental crowns to support the fake teeth, between them. Traditional bridges, are strong enough to replace molars. However, there is a downside to traditional bridges. To put dental crowns on your adjacent teeth, your dentist will need to remove some of the enamel from the two teeth to make room for the crowns on top. Removing enamel is irreversible since enamel doesn’t grow back. These teeth will always need to be protected with crowns, even if you are fitted with a different type of dental bridge later on.
Implant Supported Bridges
The implant supported bridge has been used more and more over the years, because there is normally no damage to the adjoining natural teeth. There is no support needed by trimmed down tooth stubs with crowns or bulky substructures, these types of dental bridges are supported exclusively by implants. This type of bridge allows adequate spacing for you to clean between the dental implants, and are incredibly stable. Putting too many implants together has proven to lead to major complications, including implant failures and rejections. The plaque that sticks to the surface of the dental implant then tunnels under the gums destroying previously healthy bone. So it’s crucial that your implant supported bridge is designed, so you clean it well. If you’re missing 3 teeth in row implant supported bridge is much better than having 3 implants in row. With new advances in implantology, products and procedures have made the use of implants nearly ideal for a one tooth replacement or multiple tooth bridge. Depending on the quality of your jaw bone, you may be eligible to replace your entire lower or upper arch with 4 – 6 strategically placed implants. Any implant supported bridge restoration should provide you with a very secure and comfortable feeling, similar to your natural teeth. If your implants and general hygiene and over oral condition remain healthy they can last a lifetime.
If you are missing a back tooth, or several back teeth in a row, your dentist won't be able to simply attach the bridge to teeth on either side of the gap. In this case, he or she may recommend what is called a cantilever bridge. This style of bridge is attached to a crown only on one side of the gap. Sometimes, two or three teeth in front of the gap may be crowned to give the cantilever bridge more support. Cantilever bridges do put considerable strain on the teeth used to support them, so your dentist must insert and monitor them closely, because of this reason the procedure is becoming less popular in use.
Maryland bridges, also called resin-bonded bridges, are less invasive than traditional dental bridges. They consist of a fake tooth that is supported by a metal framework. Maryland bridges have a side attachment AKA wings that bond to the adjacent teeth, which keeps the bridge stable. Nowadays, most Maryland bridges have porcelain wings, instead of metal wings. Porcelain looks almost identical to the color of your natural teeth. Less tooth removal is necessary for Maryland bridges because they attach to the backside of the front teeth next to the missing tooth. Other types of dental bridges require more tooth structure removal before placement. Maryland dental bridges are most commonly used to restore front teeth. They are rarely used to restore missing molars or canines. This is because canines are very important to your bite and Maryland bridges can shift or loosen easily.
Dental bridge materials
Most dental bridges are made from porcelain fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.
Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies.