The impact of missing teeth is more significant than most people acknowledge. From negatively impacting your confidence to causing other teeth to shift to making enjoying certain foods challenging, missing teeth are a big deal to your overall health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
To correct current issues and prevent further damage from occurring, the best solution is typically to replace any missing teeth. While there are numerous options available to accomplish just that, one of the most common is a dental bridge.
Dental Bridge Basics
Simply put, dental bridges are false teeth (pontics) that use abutment teeth (the teeth next to the gap) or dental implants to stay in place. They can be made of numerous materials, including gold and porcelain.
The purpose of dental bridges is simple—to fill gaps left by missing teeth, thereby giving you a more aesthetically pleasing oral appearance, making speech easier, enabling you to eat normally, and otherwise addressing any other oral issues resulting from missing teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
Not every dental situation is the same. Thankfully, there are several types of dental bridges available, allowing your dentist to select the perfect option for your unique needs. The four primary types of dental bridges are traditional fixed bridges, Maryland dental (resin-bonded) bridges, implant-supported bridges, and cantilever bridges.
The most common type is the traditional fixed bridge. This style utilizes a crown on each side of the false tooth to anchor it. If the missing teeth are in the front, a Maryland dental bridge may be used because it uses a framework behind the abutment teeth to secure the pontics. Implant-supported bridges utilize surgically embedded implants instead of abutment teeth. Finally, cantilever bridges anchor to only one natural tooth, making this option a rarity in modern dentistry.
Why You Should Choose Dental Bridges
Several dental issues can be addressed by dental bridges, making them a versatile solution for a variety of problems. Missing teeth can lead to bite troubles, which can snowball into chewing challenges. In addition, healthy teeth may shift and move due to the gaps left by missing teeth. Pain, excess wear on previously healthy teeth, and reduced self-confidence can accompany these gaps and the subsequent shifting of teeth.
In other words, dental bridges fix immediate issues, such as bite problems and impeded speech, and prevent future concerns from manifesting, including shifting teeth. While some situations may require different solutions, dental bridges are commonly used to correct preexisting dental dilemmas and ensure your oral health improves in the long run rather than continuing in a downward trajectory.
Dental bridges are a proven tool in a dentist’s arsenal. They are effective in addressing issues and preventing future problems. Because they have been used for so long and improved throughout the years, the process of implementing dental bridges is very safe. Caring for them is also exceptionally easy.
Most bridges last around seven years. However, if properly cared for, they have been known to last more than 10 years. Even better, dental bridges are typically cared for in the same way that your natural teeth would be—simply follow good oral hygiene habits such as twice-daily brushing, regular flossing, scheduled professional cleanings, and a healthy diet.
Speaking to your dentist about your dental concerns and the possibility of a dental bridge can be the start of a life-changing conversation. Your dental professional can offer you advice customized to your exact needs, give you in-depth insights into how a dental bridge may work for you, and otherwise ensure that your teeth are getting the top-tier treatment they deserve.